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

July 9, 2019 In The News
When the Supreme Court made its landmark ruling in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case, declaring racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-3rd, was 7 years old. Sixty-five years later, much has changed for the longtime congressman, the chair of the House Education and Labor Committee.
June 18, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08) issued the following statement after the release of a recent GAO Report, entitled “K-12 Education: Education Should Take Immediate Action to Address Inaccuracies in Federal Restraint and Seclusion Data.” “The GAO’s report makes clear that school districts across the country are not accurately reporting the use of restraint or seclusion — disciplinary practices that jeopardize student and staff health and safety. In fact, the research shows these disciplinary practices make classrooms less safe. The report’s findings are consistent with the testimony the Committee on Education and Labor heard earlier this year and raise serious concerns about the prevalence of these harmful discipline practices. The Education Department must immediately implement GAO’s recommendations to give the public and Congress an accurate understanding of the use of restraint and seclusion.
May 21, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – The Peninsula Agency on Aging honored Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, with the Award of Prestige. “I am honored to receive the Award of Prestige from the Peninsula Agency on Aging,” said Congressman Scott. “Our local Agencies on Aging are relentless advocates for our community’s seniors. These organizations help provide our seniors with the health services, nutrition, and supportive services they need, which makes them less likely to suffer illness and injury, less likely to incur expensive hospital visits, and more likely to live independently.
May 21, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) introduced the Fairness and Accuracy in Criminal Background Checks Act of 2019. The bill addresses the serious problems with the FBI database by requiring that records are accurate before they are sent to the agencies and employers that rely on them to make hiring and licensing decisions. “Far too often, many face an additional barrier created by faulty criminal background records released by the FBI," said Congressman Scott.
May 17, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act, a bill that would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other key laws to ensure that LBGTQ Americans receive the same legal protections afforded to other Americans: “Today is a historic day for the LGBTQ community. As Chairman, I was proud to consider this important civil rights legislation in the Education and Labor Committee. Today I am proud to stand with my House colleagues as we pass the Equality Act to ensure that LGBTQ Americans can live free from discrimination. The LGBTQ community has made many strides in the last few years, including marriage equality and the repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.
May 16, 2019 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Madam Speaker, I rise today to commemorate a historic neighborhood in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. The Historic Truxtun Community in Portsmouth, Virginia will celebrate its centennial on May 18, 2019. To mark the occasion, I would like to take a moment to highlight the history of this neighborhood and recognize its contributions to our community.
May 14, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), John Katko (R-NY), Lucy McBath (D-GA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) reintroduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, legislation that would protect pregnant workers from workplace discrimination. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would address legal ambiguities and help ensure that pregnant women are treated fairly on the job. The legislation, which is closely modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), would require employers to make reasonable accommodations—such as a minor job modification—that would allow pregnant workers to continue working and prevent them from being forced out on leave or out of their jobs. The bill also prohibits employers from denying employment opportunities to women based on their need for reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
May 8, 2019 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Madam Speaker, I rise today, on behalf of Representatives DANNY DAVIS, GREGORY MEEKS, DAVID SCOTT, EMANUEL CLEAVER, AL GREEN, STEVEN HORSFORD and myself, to recognize and honor the life and legacy of Robert Harold Ogle--a founding member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated and a trailblazer in the United States Congress.
May 2, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Committee on Education and Labor, and Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Committee on Energy and Commerce, issued the following joint statement after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a final rule that would deny patients necessary and lifesaving health care based on religious beliefs and erode nondiscrimination protections: “Today’s final rule, along with the expected release of a second rule that would undermine health care rights under the Affordable Care Act, will add to the Trump administration’s continued attacks on patient access to health care by allowing hospitals, doctors, and anyone involved in the provision of health care to deny care to patients based on any personal belief.
March 27, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) delivered the following remarks during the floor debate for the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7). “Thank you, Madam Chair. In 1963, the Equal Pay Act codified the right to ‘equal pay for equal work regardless of sex.’ In fact, the Equal Pay Act was enacted one-year prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that – for the first time – provided for the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws. Over the past 55 years, the Equal Pay Act– in combination with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act – has produced substantial progress towards addressing inequities for women in the workplace.