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.

As one of the chief authors of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2015, Congressman Scott ensured the bill lived up to the promise of Brown v. Board of Education and the original Elmenatary and Secondary Education Act by guaranteeing the right to an equal educational opportunity for every child, regardless of race, income, language status, or disability. As Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor he has also authored the Equity and Inclusion Enforcement Act and the Strength in Diversity Act of 2019. These bills will help guarantee equity in educaiton and help address racial inequities in public schools. 

Congressman Scott has is also one of the chief sponsors of the Do No Harm Act, a bill that ensures nobody can use religious freedom as an excuse to discriminate against another person. He has also co-sponsored several pieces of legislation aimed at correcting or preventing the furtherance of discriminatory acts, such as the Equality Act and the End Racial Profiling Act of 2013. He also supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and the first bill passed by the House under his leadership as Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor was the Paycheck Fairness Act.

More on Civil Rights

April 15, 2021 In The News
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott (D-3rd District) has formally asked for the Justice Department to investigate two recent high-profile cases in Hampton Roads involving Black men and police, the fatal police shooting of Donovon Lynch in Virginia Beach and the threatening traffic stop of Army 2nd Lt. Caron Nazario in Windsor. Scott said he has also spoken in person with Attorney General Merrick Garland about launching probes into the incidents, in addition to sending a formal request in writing. “We deserve transparency, accountability, and most of all, the truth about these incidents,” Scott said.
April 15, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and help end gender-based wage discrimination. “Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act. When President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, our country codified the basic idea that all workers should earn ‘equal pay for equal work regardless of sex.’ Regrettably, more than five decades later—and after the passage of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Act Pay—that promise remains unfulfilled.
April 15, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier today, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 14th Excellence in Virginia Government Awards hosted by the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). “I was honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the L. Douglas Wilder School at VCU,” said Congressman Scott. “Many people often highlight that I was the first African-American to serve in Congress from the Commonwealth since Reconstruction, but I like to remind them that I achieved that on the day I was sworn in.
April 15, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asking for a federal investigation into the police conduct and treatment of Donovon Lynch and Army Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario. On Tuesday, April 13th, Congressman Scott personally spoke with Attorney General Garland and was assured that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) takes these matters seriously. DOJ usually does not publicly announce their intent to conduct an investigation. “The residents of Hampton Roads deserve transparency, accountability, and most of all, they deserve the truth about these incidents,” the Congressman wrote.
April 10, 2021 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott issued the following statement: “I was horrified when I viewed the recently released video footage of the police treatment of Caron Nazario, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. This should have been a routine traffic stop and the video speaks for itself. The release of this video also comes while the Hampton Roads community is still mourning the loss of Donovon Lynch who was killed by officers while their body worn cameras were not activated.
April 6, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the Department of Education announced it is conducting a comprehensive review of the Title IX rule established under the Trump Administration. “Providing students an environment where they are safe and free from discrimination is the most basic responsibility of schools and institutions. It is the foundation that gives all students the opportunity to learn and grow. Unfortunately, the Title IX rule established under the previous Administration eroded key protections for students, weakened accountability for schools, and created widespread disruption for institutions struggling to cope with the impact of the pandemic.
April 6, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, Representative Bobby Scott (VA-03), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, and Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), ranking member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, introduced the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act (H.R. 2373) to provide states and employers with the resources to transition workers with disabilities into fully integrated and competitive jobs while phasing out the subminimum wage for individuals with disabilities. Under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, employers can apply for special certificates from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to pay individuals with disabilities less than the federal minimum wage.
April 5, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Reps. Marc Veasey (TX-33) Terri Sewell (AL-07) and Bobby Scott (VA-03), co-founders and co-chairs of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus (CVRC), released the following statement condemning the recent spate of voter suppression laws designed to undermine communities of color of their right to the ballot box: “A record number of Americans turned out to make their voices heard at the ballot box during the 2020 elections. Instead of building on the success of these elections, states and politicians across the country are trying to pass Jim Crow-style voter suppression laws.
March 23, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), House Committee on Education and Labor, and Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, filed resolutions of disapproval against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) “conciliation” rule. This rule tips the scale in favor of employers within EEOC’s process for settling claims the EEOC has already established have merit, making it harder for workers—tens of thousands of whom file discrimination charges with EEOC each year—to enforce their workplace rights.
March 18, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Bobby Scott (VA-03), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, and Rodney Davis (IL-13) led a bipartisan group in introducing the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA), a proposal to strengthen anti-discrimination protections for older workers. They were joined by six Republicans and six Democrats, including Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee Chair Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) and Workforce Protections Subcommittee Chair Alma Adams (NC-12).