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

September 28, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1693, the Eliminating a Quantifiably Unjust Application of the Law (EQUAL) Act: “For years, we have known that harsh drug sentencing disparities between crack and powder cocaine have created a racially disparate impact on Black communities. The bipartisan EQUAL Act is the next step on the long road toward eliminating this unfair sentencing disparity. In 2009, I led the effort in the House to eliminate this disparity in the Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act.
September 24, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3755  Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021: “Women have the right to make decisions about their health care. That has been understood by courts and lawmakers for decades, at least until last month, when the Supreme Court upheld a blatantly unconstitutional law in Texas. I was proud to vote for the Women’s Health Protection Act to finally codify the rights guaranteed in Roe v. Wade. We must protect reproductive rights.”
September 2, 2021 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision against blocking SB8, a state law that effectively bans abortion in Texas: “Women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies and their health care. That has been understood by courts and lawmakers for decades. The Supreme Court failed to block SB8, which clearly violates the precedent set fifty years ago in Roe v. Wade, especially insofar as it makes no exceptions for the life and health of the mother. This law jeopardizes the health and safety of women all over the country, and this ruling opens the door to further abortion restrictions in other states.
August 24, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), the Co-Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act: “The right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy. Everyone deserves equal access to the ballot box regardless of who they are or where they live. Unfortunately, voting rights are under assault like we have not seen since the Jim Crow era. Fueled by former President Trump’s ‘Big Lie’ and disastrous Supreme Court decisions in Shelby County v. Holder in 2013 and Brnovich v. DNC earlier this year, Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country have pushed extreme voter suppression laws.
August 6, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) joined Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), and Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12) in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urging them to adopt federal heat standards for workers. The Congressmembers submitted a letter to Labor Secretary Walsh outlining the dangers extreme heat poses to blue-collar workers in various industries.
July 1, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), one of the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee and Arizona Republican Party v. Democratic National Committee: “Today the Supreme Court approved laws that have a racially discriminatory impact under flawed and tortured legal theories. This will greenlight all kinds of future laws that have discriminatory impact and further erode voting rights. That is why we must enact the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to restore the right to vote.
June 24, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed a resolution introduced by Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) that will protect victims of workplace discrimination. The Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval (S. J. Res 13) repeals a Trump-era rule that forced the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to meet new burdensome requirements affecting workers who bring allegations of discrimination. The resolution, which the Senate passed on May 19, now heads to President Biden’s desk. “Every worker who seeks justice for workplace discrimination deserves swift and fair access to justice,” said Chairman Scott.
June 24, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of S.J. Res 13, a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval that would nullify the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s conciliation rule. “Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise today in support of Senate Joint Resolution 13, a Congressional Review Act resolution disapproving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, Conciliation Rule. This resolution will help ensure fairness for those who bring forth charges of unlawful workplace discrimination.
June 23, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) delivered the following remarks on the House floor in support of H.R. 2062, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act. "Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I rise in support of H.R. 2062, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, which I reintroduced this year with our colleague from Illinois—Mr. Rodney Davis. For decades, the federal government has recognized the need to protect older workers against discrimination on the basis of age. Unfortunately, in 2009, the Supreme Court severely eroded protections for older workers in the case of Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. In its decision, the Court set a significantly higher burden of proof for workers alleging age discrimination.
June 17, 2021 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. “The City of Philadelphia lost in today’s Supreme Court case because of technical issue in a contract. As a result, Philadelphia will have to give taxpayer money to a religiously-affiliated organization that may discriminate against potential foster parents. However, this decision was ultimately a victory, because moving forward the broader implication is if the contract language is drafted differently, ‘religious liberty’ cannot be used as an excuse for discrimination.