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HF 197

2nd Engrossment - 93rd Legislature (2023 - 2024) Posted on 05/19/2023 03:48pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A resolution
memorializing Congress to resolve that the requirements have been met to ratify the
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and that it shall now be known as the Twenty-Eighth
Amendment to the Constitution.

WHEREAS, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was first passed by Congress in 1972 and
was sent to the states for ratification; and

WHEREAS, the ERA guarantees "[e]quality of rights under the law shall not be denied or
abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."; and

WHEREAS, the adoption of the ERA will help to advance gender justice for women, girls,
and gender-expansive individuals; and

WHEREAS, the ERA authorizes Congress to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions
of the ERA; and

WHEREAS, the ERA states that the amendment will take effect two years after the last
constitutionally necessary state ratification occurs; and

WHEREAS, on January 27, 2020, Virginia became the 38th and final state needed to ratify
the ERA, which has been ratified by the necessary three-fourths of states; and

WHEREAS, the Archivist of the United States performs a statutory and ministerial role with
respect to certifying the ratification of amendments to the United States Constitution; and

WHEREAS, as of this date, the Archivist has not certified the amendment; and

WHEREAS, women, girls, and gender-expansive people across the country are experiencing
declining access to health, wealth, and opportunity, and increasing incidences of poverty and
violence; and

WHEREAS, the ERA was first written by Alice Paul, the head of the National Woman's
Party, in order to guarantee that the rights affirmed by the United States Constitution are held
equally by all citizens without regard to sex; and

WHEREAS, the ERA would clarify the legal status of sex discrimination for the courts,
where decisions still deal inconsistently with such claims; and

WHEREAS, Minnesota ratified the ERA in 1973; and

WHEREAS, the first, and still the only, right that the United States Constitution specifically
affirms to be equal for women and men is the right to vote under the 19th Amendment, which was
ratified by the states in 1920; and

WHEREAS, the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the
United States has never been interpreted to protect against sex discrimination in the same way that
the ERA would; and

WHEREAS, in September 2010, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said he did not believe
that the United States Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment, protects against sex
discrimination; and

WHEREAS, in 1868, the 14th Amendment was added to the Constitution despite two states
purporting to rescind their ratification; and

WHEREAS, without the addition of the ERA to the United States Constitution, legislation
and case law that has resulted in extraordinary progress for women has the potential to be ignored,
weakened, or reversed. Congress can amend or repeal legislation advancing equality with a simple
majority vote, the presidential administration can weakly enforce these laws, and the United States
Supreme Court can continue to use intermediate scrutiny when reviewing cases concerning gender;

WHEREAS, it is vital that the constitutional gender equality rights be upheld now that the
ERA has been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS, Section 3 of the Equal Rights Amendment states that the amendment shall take
effect two years after the last constitutionally necessary state ratification occurs, which was January
27, 2020; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that it urges the Congress
of the United States to pass House Resolution 25 and Senate Resolution 4, resolving that the
requirements have been met to ratify the ERA and that it shall now be known as the Twenty-Eighth
Amendment to the Constitution.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota is directed
to prepare copies of this memorial and transmit them to the President of the United States, the
President and the Secretary of the United States Senate, the Speaker and the Clerk of the United
States House of Representatives, and the Members of the United States Congress.