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

January 19, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) sent a letter to the Department of Education seeking an investigation into reports that a Florida public school district transmitted student records to the local sheriff’s office so that the sheriff’s office could develop a list of students “destined for a life of crime.” In the letter, Chairman Scott notes that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) explicitly prohibits schools from disclosing student records to third parties without parental permission.
January 12, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), and House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) expressed serious concerns about the Trump Administration’s last-minute attempt to repeal anti-discrimination protections. Specifically, the Office of Management and Budget is pushing a secretive proposal through the rulemaking process without public input, as required by law.
December 22, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Committee on Education and Labor, and Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Subcommittee on Appropriations, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) released the following statement after the House voted to repeal Section 426 of the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA). The provision was first included in the Fiscal Year 2021 House Labor-HHS Bill and maintained in the final Omnibus Package. This action follows the elimination of two harmful and similar legacy riders in the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor-HHS Bill. “Segregated schools mean segregated opportunities. More than 66 years after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education, we have yet to fulfill the promise of equity in education.
December 22, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after President-elect Biden nominated Dr. Miguel Cardona to lead the Department of Education. “I congratulate Dr. Miguel Cardona on his nomination to be the next Secretary of Education. Dr. Cardona has over two decades of experience serving in America’s public schools— first as an elementary school teacher and then as a school principal, assistant superintendent, and most recently as Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education.
December 16, 2020 In The News
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than two dozen members of the U.S. Congress on Wednesday called on federal prison and health officials for details about how inmates will be vaccinated for COVID-19, questioning whether the most vulnerable prisoners will have priority access. In a letter to Federal Bureau of Prisons director Michael Carvajal and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief Dr. Robert Redfield, 26 lawmakers, led by Democratic Representative Bobby Scott, expressed concerns about the prison system’s existing plan for vaccine distribution.
December 16, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) led 25 Members of Congress in sending a letter to Robert Redfield, the Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Michael Carvajal, the Director for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, urging them to include incarcerated individuals as a priority population in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. “The national vaccine distribution strategy will place competing priorities on our collective resources and public health system,” the Members wrote. “However, ignoring the growing COVID-19 infection crisis in American jails and prisons would be a dire mistake and undermine any national effort to contain the virus. COVID-19 is spreading four times faster in prisons than the general public.”
December 15, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) expressed deep concern to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Chair Janet Dhillon regarding the plan to limit the EEOC attorneys’ authority. Under this proposal, all lawsuits must first be subject to a Commission vote before they can be filed, which could significantly delay and hinder the enforcement of civil rights laws. The Commission attempted the vote in July 2019, but it was ultimately withdrawn. “This change will significantly delay the administration of justice. Additionally, taking litigation filing authority away from attorneys familiar with the cases is likely to lead to decisions being made based more on a political agenda rather than the merits of any case,” wrote Chairman Scott.
December 14, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services – along with several other agencies – finalized a sweeping set of rules that would allow broad religious discrimination against employees, beneficiaries, and students in federally funded programs. “The finalization of eight department rules to undermine the rights of employees and beneficiaries of federally funded programs underscores this administration’s fundamental misunderstanding of ‘religious liberty.’
December 10, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). “Five years ago, we came together to pass the Every Students Succeeds Act (ESSA) with the intent of bringing our country one step closer to achieving equity in education – the promise enshrined in the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education.
December 7, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) finalized a rule to gut nondiscrimination protections by vastly expanding religious exemptions to Executive Order 11246, which prohibit discrimination in hiring by federal contractors. “Today, the Trump administration finalized a rule to weaken anti-discrimination protections in federal contracting. The new rules gives taxpayer-funded contractors, including some for-profit corporations, the power to hire and fire employees for any potentially discriminatory reasons, except race, under the guise of religious freedom.