Editorial: Close tribal jurisdiction loophole with VAWA update

"There are many reasons for Congress to renew the Violence Against Women Act. For starters, over the past 18 years it's saved lives and provided grants to train those helping victims of domestic abuse.

Here's another reason: It would close a dangerous legal loophole.

If an American Indian is charged with committing an act of domestic abuse, that individual can be handled in a tribal court. If a non-tribal member is accused of the same crime on Indian land, he or she cannot be prosecuted by a tribal court, which does not have jurisdiction over non-tribal members. (Non-tribal) state courts by the same token often won't take the case because the alleged crime occurred on tribal land. So the case has to be sent to federal authorities, who might not have the time or the inclination to pursue it."

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Editorial: Tribal land loophole in domestic violence law needs fixing (The Tulsa World 2/19)

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