Sen. Kyl: Tribal provisions in VAWA bill violate US Constitution

"I am a long-time supporter of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

So, I was surprised when the president and Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid tried to make a political issue out of the most recent reauthorization last week.

Reid’s bill included at least one unconstitutional provision. It proposed granting Indian tribes the jurisdiction to arrest, prosecute, and imprison non-Indians under tribal law. In addition to contravening 200 years of American legal tradition, that provision – by subjecting individuals to the criminal jurisdiction of a government from which they are excluded on account of race – would quite plainly violate the Constitution’s guarantees of Equal Protection and Due Process. Another such provision proposed allowing a tribe to bar individuals (including those who are not members of the tribe) from land that they own within the exterior boundaries of an Indian reservation – in other words, barring them from entering their own property."

Get the Story:
Sen. Jon Kyl: VAWA’s Long March to Reauthorization (Sen. Kyl 4/30)

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