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January 8, 2020

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Attorney General Steve Marshall Welcomes U.S. Justice Department Opinion
Agreeing with Alabama’s Principal Legal Argument on ERA

Proposed Amendment Expired Long Ago and Can No Longer Be Ratified

(MONTGOMERY) – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall welcomed on Wednesday a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) opinion explaining why the time for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) expired more than 40 years ago.

“The DOJ agrees with Alabama’s principal legal argument that the ERA expired long ago and can no longer be ratified,” said Attorney General Marshall.

“Today’s DOJ opinion recounts how Congress has often included deadlines for ratification of constitutional amendments to ensure that any change to our foundational document reflects the will of the people across the country ‘at relatively the same period.’ And when Congress sent the ERA to the States in 1972 with a seven-year ratification deadline, Congress and the States understood the deadline to be binding.

“The DOJ opinion reaffirms that understanding and sets forth why the ERA expired in 1979 when the deadline passed without ratification from three-fourths of the States. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently stated, if the ERA is to be added to the Constitution, it will need to ‘be put back in the political hopper, starting over again, collecting the necessary number of States to ratify it.'”

The DOJ’s opinion is linked here.

Information about Alabama’s multistate lawsuit is linked here.

(Click PDF icon in upper right corner of page for links)