Democratic Reps. Cori Bush and Ayanna Pressley launched a new Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Caucus during a press conference Tuesday.
The caucus is the latest attempt to revive the ERA, which fell three states short of ratification after Congress passed it in 1972. It also marks 100 years since the ERA was first introduced in 1923, Bush and Pressley said in a press release ahead of the event, according to The Hill.
“With women and LGBTQ folks facing daily sexism, pregnancy discrimination, pay inequity, sexual violence, and persistent legislative attacks on our bodily autonomy, we need the ERA now,” Pressley said during the press conference.
It’s time for Congress to enshrine the dignity & equality of all people in the Constitution.
That’s why @RepCori & I are launching a historic, first-of-its-kind @ERACaucus to help us get the #EqualRightsAmendment across the finish line.
Join us: https://t.co/xxWbzHzoXg
— Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) March 28, 2023
Bush and Pressley also spoke about the ERA on the House floor on Monday. (RELATED: ‘Women Die Every Day’: Protester Interrupts Senate Hearing For Full Minute Before Getting Dragged Out)
100 years and all we’re asking for is 24 words.
24 words to guarantee equalities Black women and LGBTQ+ people have been denied since before the birth of this nation.
I spoke on the House floor because equality is overdue. We need the #ERANow pic.twitter.com/YOarO1zbP6
— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) March 28, 2023
Other Democratic representatives, including Pennsylvania Rep. Summer Lee, Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford, Hawaii Rep. Jill Tokuda, Illinois Rep. Jonathan Jackson, Texas Rep. Jasmine Crockett, California Rep. Ted Lieu, Florida Rep. Lois Frankel, Maryland Rep. David Trone, New Jersey Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr. and Virginia Rep. Jennifer McClellan have voiced support for the caucus.
Douglas Johnson, director of the ERA Project of the National Right to Life Committee, criticized the “ERA-revivalist cult” in a statement Monday.
“The Equal Rights Amendment irrevocably expired decades ago, and those who argue otherwise have suffered an unbroken 41-year string of defeats in the federal courts,” Johnson said. “The unconstitutional resolutions advanced by the ERA revivalists will not pass in the Senate or in the House, and in any event would have no legal effect. The authority of Congress over the 1972 ERA ended when Congress submitted it to the states a half-century ago.”
Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the ERA. On the same day, the D.C. Court of Appeals struck down a lawsuit filed by Nevada and Illinois attempting to compel the federal archivist to certify the ERA, arguing their ratifications were valid even though they fell well outside the seven-year deadline specified within the amendment text.
“With the unanimous February 28 D.C. Circuit decision rejecting the claim that the ERA has been ratified, the ERA-revivalist cult is now 0 for 29 among federal judges who have an opportunity to act or vote on ERA-revivalist legal claims,” Johnson said.
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