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AG Herring to file ‘landmark civil rights’ lawsuit over Equal Rights Amendment

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Posted at 5:20 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 17:26:21-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s attorney general has vowed to go to court if needed to see the Equal Rights Amendment adopted and plans to announce “landmark civil rights litigation” dealing with the proposed Constitutional amendment.

Attorney General Mark Herring’s office announced Wednesday that he’s partnering on the lawsuit with fellow Democratic attorneys general Kwame Raoul of Illinois and Aaron Ford of Nevada.

A news release did not provide additional details about the litigation.

A news conference to discuss it is planned for Thursday morning.

The announcement came two days after Virginia became the critical 38th state to ratify the measure, which would prohibit discrimination based on sex.

ERA advocates say the amendment will enshrine equality for women into the Constitution, offering stronger protections in sex discrimination cases. Opponents warn it will erode commonsense protections for women and advance abortion access.

A legal fight with the Department of Justice is likely ahead after they ruled that the deadline to ratify the ERA has expired.

“We conclude that Congress had the constitutional authority to impose a deadline on the ratification of the ERA and, because that deadline has expired, the ERA Resolution is no longer pending before the States,” the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel said in an opinion.