Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors this week joined a coalition of 20 state attorneys general in submitting a letter to Congress “strongly urging” lawmakers to remove any ratification deadline that may apply to the Equal Rights Amendment.

The AGs also want Congress to clarify the eligibility of the ERA for ratification to the U.S. Constitution.

“Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment is long overdue,” Connors said in a press release. “Congress should act quickly to clarify that no deadline bars passage of this amendment.”

Attorney General Clare Connors.
Hawaii Attorney General Clare Connors. She has joined other AGs fighting for the ERA. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A change to the Constitution requires three-fourths of the states to ratify the ERA. Earlier this year, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the ERA.

But, according to the Hawaii AG, an opinion issued by the U.S. Department of Justice “contends that the deadline for passage of the ERA expired decades ago.”

The ERA states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

The other AGs in the coalition, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, includes the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

The House is scheduled to take up legislation on Thursday that would remove the deadline to ratify the ERA.

Of note: The Hawaii Constitution has an ERA that reads, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the State on account of sex.”

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