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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

March 15, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier this week, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)awarded Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, the Economic Power Award. “I am honored to accept this year’s AAPD’s Economic Power Award,” said Congressman Scott. “Ensuring that individuals with disabilities have equal opportunity, full participation, and economic self-sufficiency has been my focus for many years. It is a goal we can only achieve together, and I feel immensely fortunate to work with dedicated advocates and leaders across the country, such as the AAPD, who advocate for the full civil rights of Americans with disabilities."
March 8, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the For The People Act: “The For The People Act is a historic legislative package to help reform our democracy. H.R. 1 will help restore political power to the people by strengthening ethics laws, ending the culture of corruption in Washington and reducing the role of dark, unaccountable money in politics."
March 7, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia vacated the Education Department’s delay of the Equity in IDEA rule. The Obama-era rule, which Secretary DeVos had delayed for two years, helps schools address persistent and pervasive disparities in identification, placement, and discipline of students of color with disabilities. “Today’s court ruling is a major victory for students and parents and an important step toward ensuring that all students have access to a high-quality, equitable education in a safe and healthy environment."
February 28, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – With the support of leaders from the civil rights, social justice and faith communities, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, Congressman Joe Kennedy III (MA-04), and Senator Kamala D. Harris (CA) 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. Originally introduced in response to the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores decision that made it possible for corporations to deny health care to female employees, the legislation would also overturn the Trump administration’s recent waiver allowing child welfare agencies in South Carolina to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals and different religions.
February 7, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressmen Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Thomas Massie (R-VA) reintroduced the Justice Safety Valve Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate. The Justice Safety Valve Act would give federal judges the ability to impose sentences below mandatory minimums in appropriate cases based on mitigating factors. “Last year, Congress took an important first step in recognizing that mandatory minimum sentences distort rational sentencing systems, discriminate against minorities, waste money, and often require a judge to impose sentences that violate common sense,” said Congressman Scott.
January 31, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) introduced theTransformation to Competitive Employment Act, which provides states, service providers, subminimum wage certificate holders, and other agencies with the resources to help workers with disabilities transition into competitive, integrated employment. The Transformation to Competitive Employment Act is legislation designed to strengthen and enhance the disability employment service delivery systems throughout states while subminimum wages, which are currently allowed under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act, are phased out over a six-year period.Currently, under section 14(c), employers that obtain a certificate are permitted to hire individuals with disabilities at less than minimum wage.
December 21, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Education announced that it is rescinding the 2014 ED-DOJ Discipline Guidance. “The Department’s decision to rescind the 2014 discipline guidance will undermine access to a quality education for students of color and students with disabilities. The guidance was issued to help schools address the troubling and undeniable evidence that Black students, boys, and students with disabilities receive harsher punishments than their classmates for similar or lesser offenses, without jeopardizing students’ safety. Rescinding the guidance will stall, if not reverse our progress toward addressing these disparities.
December 18, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the release of the Trump administration’s school safety commission report. “The Federal School Safety Commission Report is not a serious or good-faith effort to make schools safer for students and educators. The report’s recommendations ignore both the research consensus and the demands of students and parents for tougher gun laws. Instead, the report promotes a longstanding, conservative agenda to undermine policies that protect students’ civil rights.
November 16, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) released the following statement in response to the Education Department’s proposed rule, released today, which revises standards for schools’ responsibility under the Title IX to respond to campus sexual assault and harassment. “The Title IX proposal released today would be a damaging setback for our efforts to prevent campus sexual harassment and assault. The bottom line is that by allowing schools to use this new process and evidentiary standard, this rule would make it harder for survivors of sexual misconduct to achieve justice. Institutions must secure due process for the accused, while achieving dignity and providing the support services survivors deserve.
November 14, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08), Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03), the top Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, introduced the Keeping All Students Safe Act to protect students from the dangers of seclusion and restraint at school. The legislation would make it illegal for any school receiving taxpayer dollars to seclude children.