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Political Theater Alert: Senate Democrats expected to conduct “Show Vote” on April 27 on long-expired Equal Rights Amendment

by | Apr 24, 2023

WASHINGTON (April 24, 2023) – The U.S. Senate will conduct a cloture vote on Thursday, April 27, on a measure (S.J. Res. 4) that purports to make the 1972 Equal Rights Amendment a part of the U.S. Constitution.

“The anticipated Senate vote on the ERA measure, which will fail, is an exercise in political performance art,” said Douglas Johnson, director of the ERA Project of the National Right to Life Committee. “The ERA irrevocably expired decades ago, and those who argue otherwise have suffered an unbroken 41-year string of defeats in the federal courts, most recently in a unanimous rejection by a panel of the D.C. Circuit. Congress can no more resurrect the long-expired 1972 ERA than it can float the Titanic.”

“Every time the issue has been litigated in federal court, most recently in 2021, the pro-ERA side has lost, no matter whether the judge was appointed by a Democrat or a Republican,” wrote the Washington Post Fact Checker in February 2022, awarding “Four Pinocchios” to claims by then-Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) that the Archivist was obligated to certify the ERA as part of the Constitution.

Johnson added, “With the unanimous February 28 D.C. Circuit decision rejecting the claim that the ERA has been ratified, the ERA-revival movement is now 0 for 29 among federal judges who have had an opportunity to act or vote on any of its novel and implausible legal claims.”

NRLC today sent a new letter to the U.S. Senate, urging a nay vote on the unconstitutional ERA-revival measure.

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), a leading opponent of the ERA-revival scheme, has introduced Senate Resolution 107, which critiques some of the constitutional violations inherent in S.J. Res. 4. NRLC endorses the Hyde-Smith measure.

The recent history of judicial, executive, and legislative actions on the Equal Rights Amendment is documented in detail in the NRLC Special Report on the Equal Rights Amendment (January 23, 2023).

Mr. Johnson can be reached at djohnson@nrlc.org or (202) 626-8825.

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