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1st Circuit upholds dismissal of case that sought to resuscitate ERA

Wednesday, Jun 30, 2021

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Denise Harle regarding the unanimous decision Tuesday of a U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit panel to uphold a lower court’s dismissal of Equal Means Equal v. Ferriero, a lawsuit that implausibly claimed that the long-dead Equal Rights Amendment should nonetheless be adopted into the U.S. Constitution:

“The Equal Rights Amendment has been legally dead for a very long time. Congress gave states seven years to ratify it, a deadline that came and went decades ago. Honest advocates for the ERA have long understood that their time has expired, and any legitimate effort to add this amendment to the Constitution would have to start over from the beginning. The decision in this case rightfully hinders the current campaign to illegally sneak the ERA into the Constitution, which ADF has opposed in a separate case. If that effort is ultimately successful, the rule of law will be undermined as the Constitution’s amendment process is discarded for political convenience.”

  • Pronunciation guide: Harle (HAR’-lee)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Denise Harle

Denise Harle serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a key member of the Center for Life. In this role, Harle focuses her litigation efforts on defending pro-life legislation around the nation. She also works to defend the First Amendment freedoms of pro-life health care professionals and pregnancy resource centers. Since joining ADF, Harle took the primary role in drafting the briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in NIFLA v. Becerra, resulting in a free speech victory for California pro-life pregnancy centers. Prior to joining ADF, Harle served as deputy solicitor general in the Office of the Florida Attorney General, where she drafted appellate briefs and presented oral arguments on behalf of the state in a wide variety of constitutional cases, including defending the constitutionality of pro-life laws. In 2017, she participated in the prestigious Supreme Court Fellow program, sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General. She clerked for Justice Ricky L. Polston on the Florida Supreme Court and worked for several years as an appellate litigator at a large firm in California. Harle earned bachelor’s degrees, summa cum laude, in psychology and interdisciplinary social science from Florida State University, a master’s degree in political science from Stanford University, and a Juris Doctor from Duke University School of Law. At Duke, she served as the executive editor of Law & Contemporary Problems, the law school’s oldest journal. A member of the state bars of California, Florida, and Georgia, she is admitted to multiple federal district and appellate courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.