Assistant AG Christopher Schroeder’s confirmation brings US closer to ERA ratification

Christopher Schroeder has been confirmed as deputy attorney general in the Justice Department’s legal counsel’s office, a good sign for the equal rights amendment.

Christopher Schroeder has been confirmed by the US Senate as Deputy Attorney General of the Office of Legal Counsel.

On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Christopher Schroeder as Deputy Attorney General of the Office of the Legal Counsel (OLC) at the Department of Justice. Appointed by President Joe Biden in April, Schroeder was approved by the Senate by 56 to 41 votes. He previously worked at the OLC under the Clinton and Obama administrations. And he could play a key role in the passage of the 28th American constitutional amendment: the Equal Rights Amendment.

In a landmark Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) hearing last week, Representative Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.) – the first woman to chair the House Oversight Committee – argued that the ERA had fulfilled all the conditions required for ratification. “Thirty-eight state legislators voted to ratify the ERA, meeting constitutional requirements, but the ERA still does not appear in the constitution,” she said. “This has to change. “

The delay in the ratification of the ERA stems from the Trump presidency: In January 2020, then Attorney General William Barr wrote a note dictating that the ratification deadline expired in 1979, so the last three ratifications – Nevada, Illinois and Virginia – were invalid.

But during Thursday’s House hearing, Victoria Nourse, professor of law and director of the Center for Congressional Studies at Georgetown University Law Center, said the Trump-era memo “is not a precedent. legally binding “. Article V, the article of the Constitution which defines the procedure for amending the Constitution, confers this power only on Congress.

“We have respected the standard of the Constitution”, Nours reiterated later.

In April, the US House passed HJ Res 17, a bipartisan joint resolution that removes the arbitrary timeline for ERA ratification.

Now, within the Department of Justice, Attorney General Merrick Garland has the power to order Schroeder to rescind the previous administration’s note and tell the archivist to immediately certify the ERA, which means that the stage is set for the ERA to finally become the 28th constitutional amendment.

The ERA coalition coordinated a public petition urging Attorney General Garland to order the OLC to withdraw Barr’s January 2020 memo. ERA supporters are encouraged to sign the ERA Coalition letter, the full of which is below:

We urge Attorney General Merrick Garland to take immediate action to order his legal counsel‘s office to withdraw the Justice Department’s Jan.6, 2020 opinion note from Attorney General Barr.

When Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the ERA on January 27, 2020, all constitutional requirements for the ERA to become the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were met. However, the ERA was not published by the archivist, who relies on the advice issued by the office of the legal adviser of the previous administration.

Attorney General Garland has the unique opportunity to correct this mistake and let the story unfold.

We, the signatories, call for him to take immediate action on this important issue, promoting equality and preventing the denial of equal rights based on gender in our great nation.

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