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Congressman Bobby Scott

Representing the 3rd District of Virginia

Civil Rights

Congressman Scott is an ardent defender of civil rights.  Although America has made great strides in civil rights in the past few decades, current events have shown that we still have a long way to go.  The current threats to civil rights are not the explicit actions our predecessors may have seen and experienced. Instead, they are subtle actions that, if allowed to continue, could threaten our rights and lives in the future. Examples of such actions include religious and racial profiling, xenophobic rhetoric in political discourse, expelling minorities from school in disproportionate rates, uneven application of justice, employment discrimination, restricting the right to vote, and pay inequality.

Congressman Scott has co-sponsored several pieces of legislation aimed at correcting or preventing the furtherance of discriminatory acts, such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) of 2013, the Student Non-discrimination Act of 2013, the End Racial Profiling Act of 2013, and the Respect for Marriage Act (which would make it illegal for any state to refuse to recognize a legal same-sex marriage from any other state). He also supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

More on Civil Rights

February 22, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the White House announced that it will repeal the Obama Administration’s Title IX guidance protecting the rights of transgender students. “The impact of the Trump Administration’s repeal of the Title IX guidance leaves LGBTQ students in at least 31 states vulnerable to bullying and discrimination. A student’s right to equal education should not be impeded by an unsafe learning environment. “Last May, the Obama Administration’s Department of Education issued guidance to clarify that transgender students are protected under Title IX. That law, passed in 1972, prohibits disparate treatment, disparate impact, and retaliation based on sex in education.
February 14, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of myself and Representatives Robert Wittman, Donald McEachin, and Scott Taylor to honor Dr. Katherine Goble Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, an extraordinary group of women from Hampton Roads, Virginia recently featured in the critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures. Tomorrow evening, Senators WARNER, KAINE, and BROWN are joining me in hosting a screening of Hidden Figures here at the United States Capitol. I would like to take a moment to recognize the accomplishments of the remarkable women depicted in this film Breaking down barriers of both gender and race at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, these women, and many like them, laid the groundwork for John Glenn to become the first American to orbit the earth, and for Neil Armstrong to walk on the moon. I am proud that their stories are reaching a wider audience.
February 7, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.J. Res. 58, the joint resolution of disapproval of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to teacher preparation programs. This resolution would not only block the rule in question, but according to the rules of the CRA, it would tie the hands of this and of any future administration from re-regulating the provisions until a successful reauthorization of the Higher Education Act might take place. Mr. Speaker, this rule in question provides clarity to States on how to increase teacher preparation program quality, transparency, and the equitable distribution of well-prepared teachers. It was promulgated to enable compliance with the statutory provision included in the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
February 7, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. I rise in strong opposition of H.J. Res. 57. This resolution takes aim at the heart of the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. That bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. This resolution would strike down regulations that provide necessary clarity to States about what it means to ensure that all students are taught to high standards, and what it means to provide accurate data on student academic performance and resource equity. States now lack direction needed to proceed with implementation of the bill. Just last week, the Department removed all ESSA technical assistance to the States from the public domain, despite numerous and repeated requests for technical assistance from State and local leaders.
January 30, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, following President Donald Trump’s Executive Order banning entry from 7 Muslim-majority countries, Congressman Bobby Scott joined Democratic Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), John Yarmuth (D-KY), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), and Brad Schneider (D-IL) demanded that the Administration comply with the federal court orders staying the EO and vowed to fight to overturn it.
January 29, 2017 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s Executive Order stopping immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries, suspending all refugee resettlement for 120 days, and barring all Syrian refugees indefinitely: “President Trump’s immigration executive order runs afoul of American values and our constitution by essentially creating a religious test for entry into the United States and denying due process to green card holders who have been unable to reenter the country. Furthermore, by slamming the door shut to refugees fleeing unimaginable violence overrunning Syria and Iraq, the President has seriously damaged the moral credibility of the United States and only bolstered anti-American sentiment that is a key recruitment tool for terrorist organizations, such as ISIS.
September 4, 2016 In The News
IN THE 1964 LANDMARK decision Wesberry v. Sanders, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that “[n]o right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.” Sadly, many state and local governments responded to this assessment by continuing their sordid history of blocking access to the ballot box. To ensure that American citizens were not stripped of this precious constitutional right, Congress passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
September 2, 2016 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring’s request that the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division open a pattern-or-practice investigation of the Hampton Roads Regional Jail: “I commend Attorney General Herring for requesting a federal pattern-or-practice investigation of the Hampton Roads Regional Jail. The circumstances surrounding the death of Jamycheal Mitchell last year and the recent death of Henry Clay Stewart raise serious questions and concerns about this facility. These investigations can determine whether or not the constitutional rights of the incarcerated, as well as federal law, have been violated.
September 2, 2016 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) released the following statement to workers today in recognition of Labor Day, which is Monday, September 5th: “Labor Day is a time to recognize the incredible achievements of hardworking Americans. It is also a time to acknowledge that far too many people are working harder than ever, but still struggling to make ends meet. America has made significant strides toward economic recovery, with 77 consecutive months of uninterrupted private sector job growth. But too many working people are still going without the basics – decent housing, reliable child care, and time off work to recover from illness or care for a loved one.
July 23, 2016 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia in Howell v. McAuliffe striking down Governor Terry McAuliffe’s April 2016 executive order restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 formerly incarcerated individuals: “Yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia is very disappointing. Virginia is one of the few states in the Union that still permanently disenfranchises formerly incarcerated individuals who have already paid their debt to society. The history behind the reasoning for this provision of Virginia law is striking and appalling.