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Tribal jurisdiction provisions of VAWA face questions in House

Filed Under: Law | National | Politics
More on: 113th, crime. doj, house, jurisdiction, senate, tribal courts, vawa

The tribal jurisdiction provisions of S.47, a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, face an uncertain future in House even after changes have been made to address concerns raised by Republicans.

Tribes can only exercise jurisdiction over non-Indians under certain conditions. The defendant must live in "Indian Country" or be employed in "Indian Country" or must be a partner of a tribal member of another Indian person who also resides in "Indian Country."

The term "Indian Country" is defined by Section 1151 of title 18 in the U.S. Code. Effectively that means Alaska Native villages can't prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence offenses

Tribal jurisdiction is limited to crimes of domestic violence, dating violence and violations of protection orders. Non-Indians will be afforded "all other rights whose protection is necessary under the Constitution of the United States in order for Congress to recognize and affirm the inherent power of the participating tribe to exercise special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction over the defendant," according to the bill.

If the provisions become law, tribes have to wait two years to exercise jurisdiction over non-Indians. But tribes can petition the Department of Justice for something earlier.

Get the Story:
Law would let tribes prosecute non-Indians’ domestic violence (The Seattle Times 2/20)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Close tribal jurisdiction loophole with VAWA update (2/19)
Rep. Tom Cole defends tribal jurisdiction provisions in VAWA (2/18)
Editorial: Congress must renew Violence Against Women Act (2/18)
NCAI President Keel calls on Congress to protect Indian women (2/15)
PRI: Professor Sarah Deer discusses tribal jurisdiction in VAWA (2/15)
Republican blames VAWA vote on tribal jurisdiction provisions (2/14)
Opinion: Tribal jurisdiction provision violates U.S. Constitution (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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