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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

August 30, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) released the following statement in response to a report from the New York Times that revealed Secretary DeVos’s draft proposal to rewrite policies for addressing sexual misconduct on campus. “The draft regulation regarding sexual harassment and misconduct that is reportedly under consideration by Secretary DeVos would be a major step backward in our collective effort to provide a safe learning environment for all students. The proposed rule creates a new process and evidentiary standard that makes it harder for survivors of harassment, abuse, and assault to achieve the justice they deserve.
August 2, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the Education and Workforce Committee, and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter signed by 67 Members of Congress to the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) in response to the agency’s recent revisions to the Transgender Offender Manual. The revisions as written by the BOP make it harder for transgender prisoners to be placed in appropriate facilities and housing, increasing the likelihood of sexual assault and rape. “Prisoners should never face rape or sexual assault as part of their sentence and the Supreme Court agrees,” said Ranking Member Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member Nadler (D-NY). “With these changes to the Transgender Offender Manual, the Bureau of Prisons will knowingly place transgender prisoners at risk by denying them appropriate facility placements – violating the bi-partisan and unanimously passed Prison Rape Elimination Act, as well as the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishments.
July 3, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), ranking member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, issued the following statement after the Trump administration announced it will rescind Obama-era guidance that provides recommendations to boost diversity on campuses. “The Trump administration’s decision to rescind Obama-era guidance promoting campus diversity contradicts the Supreme Court’s ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas that schools have a compelling interest in pursuing a diverse student body. In addition, it disregards extensive research demonstrating the benefits of campus diversity for all students. Today, the Trump administration is once again eroding important civil rights protections without providing a legitimate rationale or legal justification.
June 29, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), ranking member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education announced a two-year delay of the Equity in IDEA rule. “The Education Department’s decision to delay the Equity in IDEA rule, which addresses disproportionate identification, placement, and disciplinary treatment of students of color with disabilities, is another example of this administration’s continued failure to protect students’ civil rights.
June 26, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in Hawaii v. Trump, upholding the President’s Muslim ban: “President Trump promised voters a ‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States’ during his campaign. He then enlisted Rudy Giuliani to help disguise a policy borne from religious and racial animus toward Muslims. Giuliani was honest about the strategy: ‘When he first announced it, he said “Muslim ban”…He called me up, he said, “Put a commission together, show me the right way to do it legally.”’ The Administration followed Giuliani’s advice, and unfortunately, the Supreme Court legitimized their scheme in spite of the President’s multiple statements declaring his true intent which was to discriminate against Muslims. This is a dangerous decision that undermines the Constitution and American values.
June 4, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Supreme Court handed down a ruling in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission: “The Supreme Court’s narrow ruling did not address the core question of whether or not the couple was discriminated against based on sexual orientation. By avoiding the heart of the matter, the Court is allowing a dangerous level of uncertainty to continue to persist. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was signed to protect people from illegal discrimination from businesses that open their doors to the public.
May 22, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, first I would like to acknowledge the gentleman from Georgia, Representative DOUG COLLINS, and the gentleman from New York, Representative HAKEEM JEFFRIES, for their hard work and dedication in improving this bill over the last several weeks. Historically, the United States of America has been plagued with serious, fundamental problems within our criminal justice system. For far too long, policymakers have chosen to play politics and disapprove of common-sense policy that is specifically geared towards reducing crime by instead enacting so-called ``tough on crime'' slogans and soundbites, such as ``three strikes and you're out,'' ``mandatory minimum sentencing,'' and even rhymes such as, ``you do the adult crime, you do the adult time.'' These policies may sound appealing, but their impact ranges from a negligible reduction in crime to an actual increase in crime.
May 16, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after voting against H.R. 5698 the Protect and Serve Act: “The evidence shows that violence against law enforcement has been in overall decline for 25 years, and I want that decline to continue. What has changed in recent years is a rising demand by citizens for police accountability. The appropriate response to strained police-community relations is not to criminalize what is already a crime. Instead, we should support bills like the Congressional Black Caucus’s Jobs and Justice Act of 2018, which helps law enforcement obtain training on de-escalation techniques and policing persons who are disabled or mentally ill.
April 25, 2018 Floor Statements
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleague from Virginia, Congressman Garrett. I want to thank him for organizing this evening's Special Order, but first I want to commend him for his work as a Virginia State senator for making April 23 Barbara Johns Day in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This April 23, Monday, marked the first official recognition of this important day in the Commonwealth. Almost 64 years ago, the Supreme Court struck down lawful school segregation in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. What few people know is that Virginia was one of the four cases decided that day. There were three other States, and Washington, D.C., had another case that was decided the same day. Virginia's involvement in Brown v. Board of Education stood out because that effort was led by a student, namely Barbara Johns. She was only 16 years of age. This stalwart figure in the struggle for equal education stood up to challenge the notion that African Americans should receive separate and unequal education under the law.
April 12, 2018 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressmen A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) and Bobby Scott (VA-03), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, hosted a briefing on Protecting Students’ Civil Rights to amplify the importance of preserving critical civil rights protections for students in light of recent hostile scrutiny from the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans. “Discriminatory discipline practices in our nation’s schools hurt our children, particularly students of color and students with disabilities,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “The briefing this afternoon – and the valuable information shared by the expert panelists – highlights those disparities, and the work that must be done to address and improve school climate. We should be strengthening, not removing, important protections for our nation’s students – such as the 2014 Discipline Guidance Package discussed today. I once again urge the administration and Secretary DeVos to advance evidence-based preventative measures that protect students’ civil rights.”