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Opinion: Tribal jurisdiction provision violates U.S. Constitution

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: 113th, jurisdiction, senate, tribal courts, vawa

"The Senate-passed version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) violates Articles II and III of the Constitution.

The bill would authorize Indian tribal courts to adjudicate certain domestic violence criminal charges against non-Indians and to enter a final judgment authorizing the confinement of convicted offenders. At present, tribal courts cannot exercise that authority because, as the Supreme Court held in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe in 1978, tribal courts lack criminal authority over non-Indians.

Oliphant said that Congress could empower tribal courts to adjudicate criminal charges against non-Indians, but to do so, it must pass legislation giving tribal courts that power. Congress could do that by passing VAWA, but the problem with the Senate version of the legislation is that it violates Articles II and III of the Constitution in the process."

Get the Story:
Paul J. Larkin, Jr.: “Violence Against Women Act” Violates the Constitution (The Heritage Foundation Blog 2/14)

Related Stories:
Republican blames VAWA vote on tribal jurisdiction provisions (2/14)
Tribes hail passage of VAWA with tribal jurisdiction provision (2/13)
Senate keeps tribal jurisdiction provisions in VAWA measure (2/12)
Senate set for vote on VAWA with tribal jurisdiction provisions (2/11)
Editorial: Reauthorize VAWA with tribal jurisdiction provisions (2/11)
Column: Failing to respond to violence against Native women (2/11)
Senate rejects alternative to VAWA without tribal jurisdiction (2/8)
Senate set to vote on VAWA with tribal jurisdiction provision (2/7)
White House backs tribal jurisdiction provisions in VAWA bill (2/5)
Frontline: Closing a loophole in VAWA to help Native women (2/5)
Ryan Dreveskracht: Tribal provisions of VAWA up for debate (2/5)
Opinion: The Violence Against Women Act is on life support (01/28)
Matt Remle: Violence against women, violence against earth (1/25)
Haley Elkins: Media goes silent on the failure to pass VAWA (1/24)
NCAI calls on Congress to pass Violence Against Women Act (01/24)

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