Ryan Dreveskracht: Tribal provisions of VAWA up for debate

"As the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) debate raged during the last days of 2012, the National Congress of American Indians issued a Call to Action, urging Indian Country to support “compromise language to address Republican concerns that the tribal jurisdiction over non-tribal defendants is unconstitutional.” Notwithstanding NCAI’s support of a Republican-advanced H.R. 6625, a standoff over the House and Senate versions of the VAWA resulted in the legislation expiring.

At issue in the debate was the provision of S. 1925 that allowed tribes to exercise limited criminal jurisdiction over certain non-Indians who assault Native American women on Indian reservations. In short, House Republicans could not accept the proposition that tribal governments would again have criminal authority to prosecute non-Indians who abuse or assault Native women in Indian Country.

But today it appears that the 113th Congress intends to get a VAWA deal done. Senator Patrick Leahy quickly reintroduced S. 1925 as S. 47, and House Representatives Gwen Moore and John Conyers also introduced H.R. 11 – which tracks the Senate version word-for-word. But even Conyers himself is pessimistic that H.R. 11 has any chance of passing the House in its current form. Talk of a compromise House bill is already emerging on Capitol Hill."

Get the Story:
Ryan D. Dreveskracht: The VAWA Debate Is Heating Up Again (Indian Country Today 2/5)

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NCAI calls on Congress to pass Violence Against Women Act (01/24)

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