Governor Laura Kelly has signed onto an amicus brief along with 18 states and the District of Columbia urging the National Archives and Records Administration to recognize the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“After generations of fighting for equal treatment and nearly 50 years after Kansas first passed the Equal Rights Amendment, the required 38 states have ratified it, and the Amendment should take its rightful place in the Constitution,” Governor Kelly said. “Kansas will join the chorus of other states proclaiming that equal rights belong to all Americans, regardless of sex.”

The amendment, which was initially proposed in 1972, reads simply, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Kansas was one of the first seven states to approve the amendment, just days after it was proposed, at the urging of the late Governor Robert Docking.

The lawsuit asks the courts to direct the Archivist of the United States to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution. He argues that time has expired and that the amendment is dead, even though the required three quarters of states have passed it.

“In the year 2020, the fact that women and men are equal should not be controversial, but women still face discrimination, earn less than their male counterparts and are underrepresented in public life,” Governor Kelly said. That is why I’ve committed to addressing the gender parity on our state boards, it’s why I fight for women’s rights to their own healthcare decisions, and it’s why I am signing onto this lawsuit today.”

The lawsuit—Virginia v. Ferriero, Case No. 1:20-cv-242-RC—is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Joining the amicus brief are Connecticut, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

The brief can be found here.