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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

August 14, 2017 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Days after the horrific violence at a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, President Trump finally named the groups who perpetrated the violence: white supremacists and neo-Nazi sympathizers. Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement in reaction to the President’s remarks: "While I welcome the President’s condemnation of overt racism and white nationalism in response to this weekend’s horrible events, I remind everyone that actions speak louder than words. It is equally important to support actions that actually enforce civil rights, strengthen voting rights, and expand opportunity for all. "
August 12, 2017 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on the violent clashes at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, VA: "I am deeply concerned about the unfolding situation in Charlottesville where white nationalists have violently clashed with counter-protesters. While I respect their First Amendment right to assemble and freedom of speech, this sort of violence and hate speech has no credible role in our public discourse.
August 2, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON – Representatives Bobby Scott (VA-03) and John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13), the ranking members of the House Committees on Education and the Workforce and the Judiciary, respectively, issued the following statement after reports surfaced that the Department of Justice plans to attack and undermine affirmative action programs in colleges and universities. “While we cannot comment on the veracity of this alleged memo, we are deeply concerned by news reports that the Department of Justice intends to challenge the application of affirmative action programs in colleges and universities. What is already clear is the Trump Administration’s public record of attacking civil rights protections on multiple fronts. As ranking members, we led 86 Members of the House in an amicus brief in support of affirmative action programs in higher education.
July 26, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bobby Scott issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s announcement on his personal twitter account that transgender individuals will no longer be permitted to serve in any capacity in the United States Armed Forces. “This morning, the country woke up to the news that President Trump unilaterally plans to bar the service of transgender persons in our nation’s military. This announcement places the estimated 15,000 transgender Americans who are currently serving our country at risk of being discharged. President Trump’s action undermines morale and further devalues the service and sacrifice of the more than 130,000 transgender veterans alive today.
July 13, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the support of leaders from the civil rights, social justice and faith communities, Congressman Joe Kennedy III (MA-04) and Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, today reintroduced legislation to amend the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The Do No Harm Act would clarify that no one can seek religious exemption from laws guaranteeing fundamental civil and legal rights. It comes in response to continued efforts across the country to cite religious belief as grounds to undermine Civil Rights Act protections, limit access to healthcare, and refuse service to minority populations.
June 15, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) received the National Visibility Award from the Secular Coalition of America in recognition of his leadership in protecting the First Amendment, religious liberty, and separation of church and state. “I am honored to receive the National Visibility Award from the Secular Coalition of America,” said Rep. Scott. “As a defender of the Constitution’s First Amendment and an Episcopalian, I can attest to the power of working with people of many faiths and secularists who understand how reason, critical thinking, and empathy has helped our nation face its adversities and achieve great things.
June 12, 2017 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott issued the following statement to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Loving v. Virginia: “In 1959, Mildred and Richard Loving were charged with violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage. This injustice launched a courageous legal challenge that culminated in the Supreme Court ruling on this day, 50 years ago, that the United States would no longer allow race-based restrictions on the right to marry. The Loving Court unanimously stated that marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,’ confirming that America is a place of equality and freedom.
May 25, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 1761. I first want to point out that the case outlined by the chair of the Judiciary Committee that failed in Federal court could have been brought in State court and the defendant would have been subjected to extremely long, lengthy prison time for the heinous conduct that he had participated in. Mr. Speaker, this legislation expands the use of preexisting mandatory minimum sentences. Although the bill does not technically create new mandatory minimums, it does expose additional defendants to preexisting mandatory minimum sentences of 15, 25, and 35 years.
May 23, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentlewoman from North Carolina (Ms. Foxx) and the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Lewis) for working with this side of the aisle on bipartisan comprehensive reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Juvenile courts were established by States in the first half of the 20th century based on the emerging legal theory that children should not be held as fully responsible for their actions as adults, a theory borne out over time by scientific research on impulse control and brain development. The opportunity to rehabilitate children became the focus of the system rather than punishment of offenders. Congress first articulated national standards for juvenile justice in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, or JJDPA. Long overdue for reauthorization, the bill creates important core protections for our children in the juvenile justice system in each State.
May 23, 2017 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1808, the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act. This bill will strengthen recovery and prevention efforts of missing and exploited children by renewing and updating support for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, or NCMEC. The terror experienced by parents of a missing child is unfathomable. Both the child and the parents experience pain, trauma, fear, and uncertainty. This is why affected families need the full support of law enforcement, schools, businesses, and other entities that may be able to assist in locating and recovering missing or exploited children.