January 30, 2020

Cortez Masto Statement on State of Nevada Suit to Certify the ERA

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) issued the following statement after Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford announced Nevada will join in a lawsuit to require the Archivist of the United States to certify the Equal Rights Amendment as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“Nevadans ratified the Equal Rights Amendment in 2017, making us the 36th state to do so. Now that three-quarters of the states have approved the amendment’s protections for every American regardless of sex, it must be considered the law of the land. I support this effort to ensure that the U.S. Constitution bans discrimination on the basis of sex.”


The Equal Rights Amendment to the federal Constitution prohibits state and federal governments from denying or abridging “[e]quality of rights under the law . . . . on account of sex.” The amendment was passed by Congress in 1972, and approved by 35 states by the ratification deadline in 1979. Since then, it has been approved by three additional states: Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia. In January of 2020, the Department of Justice issued an opinion concluding that the ERA had expired. The suit by the Attorneys General of Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia seeks to require the Archivist to disregard that opinion and certify the amendment as part of the U.S. Constitution.