judgement scale and gavel in judge office
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com
- Advertisement -

Three lawsuits were filed last week in New York, Michigan and Rhode Island to protect Roe v. Wade from being overturned, and firmly establish the Equal Rights Amendment (“ERA”) in the United States Constitution.

The plaintiff, The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Trust, filed the lawsuits to affirm that women are fully equal citizens under the U.S. Constitution, and are entitled to full and Equal Protection of all laws. Stanton was a leading women’s rights activist in the 1800s, whose leadership led to women winning the right to vote in 1920. The Trust’s president, Coline Jenkins, is the great great granddaughter of Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Jenkins explained that the lawsuits were filed because “only with full Equal Protection of all laws can women’s right to choose be protected.”

Attorney Amy Rice, who filed in Rhode Island, added, “In the year 2022, it is unconscionable that officials in D.C. have taken steps to prevent the ERA from being added to our Constitution, and that they would seek to deny women the basic human right to full equality under the law, especially considering what’s going on with the Supreme Court right now. Women need equality more than ever to ensure that they receive equal treatment by all courts at all times, including the Supreme Court of the United States.”

In a press release, Rice says that the lawsuits were filed in response to the recently leaked opinion of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who proposes to overturn Roe v Wade. The lawsuits were filed in states where Attorney’s General have expressed their support for Roe, and have stated publicly that the ERA is valid despite. These lawsuits ask the courts to declare the ERA valid and ensure that all laws are fully compliant with the ERA.

The lawsuits assert claims under the ERA as the Twenty-Eighth Amendment to the Constitution and state that because three-fourths of the states have ratified the ERA it is now part of the Constitution and must be enforced. Article V of the Constitution states that an amendment becomes valid the moment the last of 3/4ths of the states ratifies it, which was Virginia in January 2020. But federal officials have refused to acknowledge the ERA’s validity because a purported ratification deadline expired before Virginia ratified. The lawsuits assert that the ERA is valid because the deadline is not valid.

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Trust’s co-founder, Marsha Weinstein, explained, “these lawsuits have been filed in state court because the American people speak through the states when they ratify an amendment, and the American people have made their voices clear that the ERA is part of our Constitution. Federal officials may not agree, but the states play an equal role alongside the federal government in the Amendment process, and the states have decided in unequivocal terms that the ERA is now valid. We are now asking state courts to affirm this reality, which will guarantee equal treatment for all women in America at all times under all laws, including Roe.”   

- Advertisement -

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.