Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul issued a statement in response to a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decision to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Raoul, Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to ensure the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is recognized as the 28th Amendment.
The dismissal was issued March 5. Judge Rudolph Contreras, of the federal district court in Washington, D.C., said the vote "came after both the original and extended deadlines that Congress attached to the ERA," according to NBC News. Illinois, Nevada and Virginia argued that the Constitution does not give Congress any power to set a time limit on the ratification process. They also argued that the deadline had no force of law.
Raoul said, "While today's decision is disappointingparticularly as we recognize Women's History Monthit does not change the fact that women have equal rights under the law.
"I filed a lawsuit with Attorneys General Ford and Herring because we believe all of the requirements have been met for equal rights for all Americans to be enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, and we do not believe that Congress' arbitrary deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment is effective.
"Today's ruling may seem like a setback, but we will continue to fight for our Constitution to explicitly prohibit all forms of discrimination, including that based on sex."
Illinois ratified the ERA in 2018. When combined with Nevada's ratification in 2017 and Virginia's ratification in January 2020, a total of 38 states have now ratified the ERAsurpassing the constitutional threshold required for the ERA to become the 28th Amendment.
The states can appeal the ruling; the case is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.