Editorial: Prosecute non-Indian offenders in federal system

"Native American women suffer outrageous rates of rape and domestic violence. The problem could be targeted far more effectively by taking political agendas out of the equation – and by taking the Constitution more seriously.

The U.S. Senate has proposed a remedy in its update of the Violence Against Women Act: It wants to give tribes the authority to prosecute and try non-Indians accused of beating or raping Indian spouses or partners on tribal reservations.

This might work if done right; if done wrong, it could strip American citizens of key constitutional protections. Unfortunately, Democrats are framing the issue in simplistic, election-year slogans: House Republicans with misgivings about the plan supposedly either hate women or want to coddle abusers.

In fact, opponents of those provisions are raising concerns that ought to give pause to any civil libertarian."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Protect Indian women without diluting Bill of Rights (The Tacoma News-Tribune 8/19)

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