This week, Governor Steve Bullock filed a Amicus brief supporting a lawsuit in District Court in the District of Columbia to officially adopt the Equal Rights Amendment into the U.S. Constitution. Legal counsel for Governor Bullock Raph Graybill explained the purpose of Bullock’s brief.

“There has been a movement for many years in the United States to say that it should be against the Constitution to discriminate against people on the basis of their sex,” said Graybill. “There was a movement over the years to actually accomplish amending the Constitution, and Article V says you’ve got to have 38 states approve it. Well, just last year, the final three states, Illinois, Nevada and Virginia approved the Equal Rights Amendment and it should be part of the Constitution.”

Graybill described the reason why the amendment hasn’t yet been officially adopted.

“The hang-up is, when Congress first authorized this amendment they said there’s an artificial deadline,” he said. “You have to do it within a certain number of years. What the Governor did was that he filed a brief in support of a lawsuit that these three states have brought saying ‘this is now part of our Constitution’. You can’t have a law by Congress put a limit on something that we the people have done, and that is, amending our Constitution. Let the people do it. When 38 states pass an amendment that is the law of the land.”

Graybill said there is one individual who seems to be standing in the way.

“What’s interesting about this lawsuit is that’s it’s actually against the Archivist of the United States, kind of an obscure position,” he said. “The Archivist of the United States maintains the copy what of what the original Constitution is and what it says, so it’s his job to decide is this amendment pass or not? What Governor Bullock is saying is that the people of Montana 46 years ago, passed it. They’ve now got 38 states who have passed it. It’s part of the Constitution and you need to recognize it”

The attorneys general of Virginia, Illinois and Nevada are suing the archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, to compel him to "carry out his statutory duty of recognizing the complete and final adoption" of the ERA.

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