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

May 15, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement ahead of the 66th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education. “This year’s anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education comes at a pivotal and perilous moment in the fight for educational equity. Last month, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that students have a constitutional right to a basic education. But the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated the unequal distribution of resources and opportunity that ­­prevents many low-income and Black students from getting the education they deserve.
May 4, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Democrats sent a letter to the Director of the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) in strong opposition to the agency’s recent guidance allowing new service, supply, and construction contracts related to coronavirus response to avoid federal affirmative action requirements. The letter was signed by Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Committee on Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith (WA-09) and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12).
February 21, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Committee on Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) sent four letters to the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Education (ED), Labor (DOL), and Justice (DOJ) expressing strong opposition to the administration’s sweeping set of proposed rules that would allow religious discrimination against employees and students in federally funded programs and violate the religious liberty rights of individuals accessing federally sponsored social service programs.
January 15, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement as the House voted to pass H.R. 1230, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act. The bipartisan legislation would restore protections for older workers by ensuring they have the same legal protections against age discrimination as those that exist for discrimination based on race, sex, nationality, and religion. “It has now been more than a decade since the Supreme Court heightened the burden of proof for workers seeking to legally challenge age discrimination in the workplace.
November 19, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a rule to undermine nondiscrimination provisions in federally funded health and social service programs. “This proposal to remove some of the nondiscrimination standards for both secular and religious HHS grantees is the Administration’s latest attempt to weaken civil rights protections in federally funded programs.
October 28, 2019 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for holding this Special Order and recognizing the legacy of Congressman John Conyers. I want to join those who are honoring his legacy. He served in Congress longer than any other African American. He represented Michigan and the Nation for over 50 years. He was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and he served as dean of the House. He was a giant in civil rights. He often bragged about being the only candidate for elective office ever endorsed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
October 1, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after a district judge in Boston upheld Harvard's admissions process in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard Corporation. “The District Court’s decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. Harvard Corporation affirms the constitutionality of admissions policies that recognize that there is a compelling interest in advancing a diverse student body. There is extensive research that diverse campuses expand access to a quality, well-rounded education. “The statistical analysis highlighted in this case reveals an important fact about current admissions policies. Race and ethnicity are among the many criteria that institutions of higher education evaluate in their quest to ensure a diverse learning environment. It is curious that this lawsuit seeks to cast aside these criteria without giving similar scrutiny to the role of legacy admissions and familial connections.
August 24, 2019 Press Release
HAMPTON, VA – On Saturday, August 24, 2019, Congressman Bobby Scott delivered remarks at the Commemoration of the First African Landing in recognition of the first enslaved Africans brought to English North America at Old Point Comfort, Virginia in 1619.
August 15, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Contracting Compliance Programs proposed a new rule which would gut nondiscrimination protections by vastly expanding religious exemptions to Executive Order 11246, which prohibit discrimination in hiring by federal contractors, including on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity. “The administration’s proposal to weaken anti-discrimination protections in federal contracting would give taxpayer-funded for-profit corporations extraordinary power to hire and fire employees based on religious beliefs.
July 30, 2019 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Representatives Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Donald McEachin (VA-04) will host a town hall meeting in Chesapeake, Virginia. This town hall will be an opportunity for constituents to learn more about the Representatives’ efforts to protect access to affordable health care, as well as hear more about the critical legislation House Democrats have passed in the first 200 days of the new Congress. This will be an opportunity for residents of the 3rd and 4th congressional districts to provide comments and ask questions.