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ERA Amicus Brief in Commonwealth of Virginia, et al v. Ferriero

On January 10th, 2022, Equality Now and organizations that fight for equality around the world* filed a brief as amici curiae in Commonwealth of Virginia et al v. Ferriero in support of the Plaintiff-Appellants’ appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the District Court of Columbia Circuit following the  March 5th  2021 erroneous decision in the lower court.  The  Plaintiff-Appellants – the three latest states to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) – Virginia, Illinois, and Nevada – are demanding that the Government finally certify and incorporate the ERA into the US Constitution. The ERA, ratified by the required number of 38 states, adds express language to the United States Constitution guaranteeing equality on the basis of sex. 

Our brief also supports the work of the ERA Coalition and asserts that the vast majority of countries around the world recognize the concrete and particularlized harm arising from sex inequality and the need for express constitutional guarantees of equality on the basis of sex; the US is required to adopt the ERA to comply with its treaty commitments; and the US should adopt the ERA to comply with international law and human rights standards.  

Adopting the ERA would be a significant step toward aligning U.S. law with the overwhelming consensus of international law, which it supports and to which it is bound including through ratifying the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights, signing CEDAW and the American Convention on Human Rights, and adopting the Beijing Platform for Action, among others.  The United States must no longer stand apart in failing its citizens by denying them the fundamental right to equality on the basis of sex in its Constitution. 

Previously, in June 2020, Equality Now and human rights organizations from every region of the world filed an amicus curiae brief in Commonwealth of Virginia, et al v. Ferriero in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the lower court. 

*The brief, joined by WORLD Policy Analysis Center, the Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights (CLADEM), the Equal Rights Trust, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), FEMNET, the Arab Women Organization (AWO), and the Sisterhood is Global Institute, was filed with the pro-bono assistance of law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.