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Chairs of Virginia Courts of Justice Committees: Attorney General Miyares’s Opposition to ABA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Standards Does Not Reflect Virginia’s Values

Miyares' letter "is a step backward, is not reflective of the Virginia laws he swore an obligation to uphold, and does not reflect our values as Virginians.”

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From VA Senate Majority Leader Scott Surovell:

Chairs of Virginia Courts of Justice Committees: Attorney General Miyares’s Opposition to ABA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Standards Does Not Reflect Virginia’s Values

Mount Vernon, VA—Today, Senator Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon) and Delegate Patrick Hope (D-Arlington), Chairs of the Virginia Senate and House Courts of Justice Committees, wrote to the Council of the American Bar Association (ABA) condemning Attorney General Miyares’ recent attack on the ABA’s diversity, equity, and inclusion standards for law schools.

Earlier this month, Attorney General Miyares joined with 20 of his Republican colleagues in signing a letter demanding that the ABA revoke its standards requiring law schools to work towards diversity and inclusion in law school hiring and broad access to legal education and the legal profession for everyone, regardless of their background or identity. The Attorney General’s position does not reflect Virginia’s laws, which emphasize the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Virginia’s code specifically establishes a Director and Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, aimed at promoting inclusive practices in Virginia’s state government.

Surovell and Hope wrote in their letter today: “The Attorney General—who won his election by .8% of the vote or 26,000 people out of over 3.2 million votes cast —does not speak for Virginia or its attorneys. As chairs of the Senate and House Courts of Justice Committees in Virginia, we value the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession and support the American Bar Association’s efforts to ensure diversity in law school faculty and staff and to promote access to the study of law for every individual, regardless of race, gender, or other protected classifications.”

“Virginia is a very diverse place, with our citizens coming from many different backgrounds. We value inclusion, equity, and accessibility, and strive to ensure that everyone in our Commonwealth feels welcome and safe, and has the opportunity to succeed. We have worked hard to dismantle systemic inequities in our Commonwealth, and have made significant progress in those efforts. The Attorney General’s letter is a step backward, is not reflective of the Virginia laws he swore an obligation to uphold, and does not reflect our values as Virginians.”

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Senator Scott A. Surovell represents the 34th Senate District encompassing Southeastern Fairfax County. Prior to his time in the Senate, Surovell served six years in the House of Delegates. Surovell lives in Mt. Vernon.  He practices law and has dedicated his legislative career to fighting for Northern Virginia’s fair share, protecting consumers, and preserving our environment for future generations.

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