Eric Cantor holds up VAWA to protect rapists from Tribal prosecution

As some may know, there are a number of other things that will expire at the end of the year besides items related to the very, very, very gradual incline of fiscal doom that is obsessing so many beltway potentates.

One of these is the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This landmark legislation will expire at the end of the year unless the House acts. The Senate strengthen the law to extend protections to undocumented immigrants, members of the LGBT community and Native Americans. Eric Cantor and the GOP might let the first two groups slide by, but he has a problem with the injuns.

Laws concerning Tribal Sovereignty create some grey legal zones when crimes are committed on Native American lands–especially when those are violent crimes committed by outsiders. There is an epidemic of rapes of Native American women (many, many of them by white men). And way, way too often, these despicable pieces of shit use the grey area of Tribal jurisdiction as a loop hole to avoid any prosecution for their crimes. The re-authorization of VAWA corrects this problems by giving Tribal Courts expanded authority to prosecute these violent crimes–even if the accused is a white predator just visiting Tribal lands. Eric Cantor, the House GOP Leadership and the modern conservative movement seem to have a problem with Tribal Courts prosecuting non-Native men for the crimes they commit (like raping Native American women) and so they are blocking a vote on the VAWA:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the author of the Senate VAWA bill, went to the Senate floor on Thursday and plainly announced that House Republican leaders are blocking his bill “because of their objections to [the] … tribal provision.”

Leahy explained the provision, probably the least understood of the three additions in the Senate bill: It gives tribal courts limited jurisdiction to oversee domestic violence offenses committed against Native American women by non-Native American men on tribal lands. Currently, federal and state law enforcement have jurisdiction over domestic violence on tribal lands, but in many cases, they are hours away and lack the resources to respond to those cases. Tribal courts, meanwhile, are on site and familiar with tribal laws, but lack the jurisdiction to address domestic violence on tribal lands when it is carried out by a non-Native American individual. That means non-Native American men who abuse Native American women on tribal lands are essentially “immune from the law, and they know it,” Leahy said. [snip]

Of the Native American women who are raped, 86 percent of them are raped by non-Native men, according to an Amnesty International report. That statistic is precisely what the Senate’s tribal provision targets. [snip]

Cantor’s insistence on keeping the tribal jurisdictional provision out of VAWA has infuriated some backers of the Senate bill and elicited vows to prevent any VAWA bill from advancing that doesn’t protect all victims of abuse. Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women and someone who regularly talks to people directly involved in VAWA negotiations, called Cantor’s stance “completely outrageous.”

“Who is Eric Cantor to say that it’s okay for some women to get beaten and raped?” O’Neill said. “If they happen to be Native women who are attacked by a non-Native man, as far as Eric Cantor is concerned, those women are tossed.”

As always, Cantor operates with twisted logic. He seems to think that it is better to protect rapists from prosecution than it is to let Native American Tribal Courts prosecute crimes committed on their Territory. Protection of white men from Tribal Court–regardless of their crimes–seems to be the the driver here. Cantor’s concern seems to be that it is rape today, but that this slippy slope of justice could lead to Tribal Courts prosecuting white men (or even corporations) for other crimes like land theft and environmental destruction tomorrow. Rapists must go free to protect profits. It fills me with a bit of rage.

Good thing that the entire Conservative “War on Women” thing doesn’t exist…

Cheers

Oh, this site, will give you tools to contact Congress to support passage of the VAWA–with the protections for ALL women, including undocumented immigrants, members of the LGBT community and Native Americans.

113 replies
  1. 1
    Handy says:

    Cantor is a weasel (no offense to real weasels)

  2. 2
    shortstop says:

    It’s banal to keep shouting, “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!”…and yet I can’t stop doing it.

  3. 3
    EconWatcher says:

    Is there any issue with the quality or fairness of tribal courts? Of course, if there were, that would raise concerns about their criminal jurisdiction over anybody, not just non-tribal members. But I’m curious if there are issues with this.

    I know nothing about tribal courts, but if only members of the tribe can serve as judges and jurors, I could see constitutional questions about being judged by your peers, as there would be for any jury system rigged to exclude particular ethnic groups.

  4. 4
    Culture of Truth says:

    On this topic, “Why I Won’t Be Cheering for Old Notre Dame” by Melinda Henneberger in Washington Post is worth a read.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....otre-dame/

  5. 5
    burnspbesq says:

    Bruce Cockburn, who has written so perceptively on so many topics over his 40-year career as a singer-songwriter, caught this one perfectly a long time ago:

    You thought it was over, but it’s just like before.
    Will there never be an end to the Indian War?

    FOAD, Cantor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-st9ENptS9c

  6. 6
    c u n d gulag says:

    I hope some VA Native Americans lay siege to this feckin’ idiot’s office!

    You can’t make-up villains like Cantor up you were writing a work of fiction.
    Your editor would tell you to lay-off the hootch, pot, acid, and meth.
    And in the meantime, stage an intervention.

  7. 7
    👽 Martin says:

    Well, I guess we now know who bought that Custer’s Revenge video game back in 1982.

    Sad that he’d have to go on to become an elected official.

  8. 8
    Amir Khalid says:

    I hope someone in the Democratic party is working up a plan to dramatise this kind of legislative monstrousness by the Republicans.

  9. 9
    Felonius Monk says:

    Who knows —- Maybe Eric has been hanging around the Reservation himself. Wouldn’t put it past this weasel (also, no offense to real weasels).

  10. 10
    WaterGirl says:

    @shortstop: Seems like I shouted that very thing, in the exact same words, every day in the runup to the election.

    The only question was how early in the day it would happen. Most discouraging were the days whe those were the first words out of my mouth in the morning.

    There are plenty of times when compromise is called for, but how the hell do you say screw the native American women, we have to throw these women to the wolves in order to protect white women?

  11. 11
    Feudalism Now! says:

    GOP is pro- rape. How many times have they come out to defend rapists this year alone? Akin, Mourdock, and Cantor, there is no light between their positions. It’s rethuglican rapists all the way down.

  12. 12
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    In a previous life, Cantor ran over a Chinaman in Beijing. Since it was in 1898, he was never charged. He has never forgotten that, and is trying to keep his options open now.

  13. 13
    Face says:

    He seems to think that it is better to protect rapists from prosecution than it is to let Native American Tribal Courts prosecute crimes committed on their Territory anything, and I mean ANYTHING, attempted to be passed by Democrats in the Senate must be blocked for no discernable reason other than wanton dickishness

    Occam’s Razor’d it for ya.

  14. 14
    Schlemizel says:

    Why the hell is there an expiration data on this bill? Can someone explain that to me please?

  15. 15
    TenguPhule says:

    Is it too early to call for Cantor’s scalp?

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    It’s a slippery slope. First you let Tribal legal processes prosecute rapists, and the next thing you know those clever Indian chiefs will be using their new UN authority to forcibly gay marry you to a Mexican.

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Don’t these fucks claim to be pro law and order? Generally, the best place for a trial is in the jurisdiction where the alleged crime took place. That’s fucking basic shit. If there is a reason that this would not be fair, one can file for a change of venue.

    Assholes.

  18. 18
    Karmus says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Is it too early to call for Cantor’s scalp?

    I saw what you did there. Very brave.

  19. 19
    Zifnab25 says:

    @Schlemizel: Lots of bills have expiration dates, and for more than a few reasons. It’s not necessarily a bad idea, given that it offers Congress an opportunity to update the bills (as the Senate is doing here).

    In all seriousness though, who are the assholes supporting the “Native American rape amendment” to the Senate draft of the bill? I mean, other than Cantor. Did they not learn their lesson after the 2012 “Let’s Say Rape As Much As We Can – Oh, gee, how did we lose?!” election cycle?

  20. 20
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    The Republican Party has a history of members who enjoyed raping native women. Maybe they feel the need to protect potential future politicians.

  21. 21
    Mike Lamb says:

    Did we just wake up in Dances with Wolves?

  22. 22
    JG says:

    Jeebus. You’d think the GOP would have learned not to speak about rape after the slaughter of this last election.

    Dumbass.

    Everyone should post everyplace they possibly can that Eric Cantor supports prosecutorial immunity for rapists until he is shamed into…

    …oops. Forgot who I was talking about. No shame. Well, spread the word anyway that GOP is still the party of rape.

  23. 23
    Schlemizel says:

    @Zifnab25:

    Not sure why this bill has an expiration date though. Its not like rape is liable to go away at any minute

  24. 24
    sherparick says:

    It is really nice to see the Republicans figure out a new way to piss another minority group and women off. Obviously, the problem in the last election is that Romney, Akins, and Mourdoch were mushy moderates, RINOs, and insufficiently true blue (or should that be “red”) conservatives. Between the disability treaty, Synder’s anti-union XMAS surprise in Michigan, and now the VAWA, they should get thier vote down to to its neo-confederate wing-nut core of 27% by 2016.

  25. 25
    japa21 says:

    @Schlemizel: Several of the times this bill has come up for renewal, new things have been added to it to extend protections further than before. Without it coming up for renewal, that may well not have happened.

  26. 26
    ahabig says:

    Don’t discount sheer petulance – the original VAWA was drafted by then-Senator Joe Biden’s office. Cantor may just be having a childish ‘Ha, ha, I’ll show you!’ tantrum.

    Can we fast forward to the part where he decides to take his ball and go home? He could join DeMint at Heritage…

  27. 27
    El Cid says:

    The real question that I hope Cantor can help solve is whether or not these Native women have souls. The implications if they do and are fully as human as non-Tribals could be shocking.

  28. 28
    Linda Featheringill says:

    All right. Let’s go after the Republican members of the House.

    This is a list I made up of Republicans who might be capable of independent thought. Go get ’em!

    Remember Tim’s instructions to have an acceptable zip code when you call the offices.

    27 Republicans who have renounced the Norquist pledge and/or never signed it.

    [Source for names: DailyKos, December 1, topdog08]

    Charles Boustany (LA-03)
    Phone: (202) 225-2031
    Fax: (202) 225-5724
    Likely town: Lake Charles 70629

    Howard Coble (NC-06)
    Phone: (202) 225-3065
    Fax: (202) 225-8611
    Likely town: Greensboro 27408

    Tom Cole (OK-04)
    Phone: (202) 225-6165
    Fax: (202) 225-3512
    Likely town: Norman 73069

    Rick Crawford (AR-01)
    Phone: 202-225-4076
    Fax: 202-225-5602
    Likely town: Jonesboro 72404

    Scott DesJarlais (TN-04)
    Phone: 202-225-6831
    Fax: 202-225-5172
    Likely town: Columbia 38401

    Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01)
    Phone: 202-225-4806
    Fax: 202-225-5686
    Likely town: Lincoln 68508

    Chris Gibson (NY-20)
    Phone: 202-225-5614
    Fax: 202-225-1168
    Likely town: Saratoga Springs 12866

    Richard Hanna (NY-24)
    Phone: 202-225-3665
    Fax: 202-225-1891
    Likely town: Utica 13502

    Peter King (NY-02)
    Phone: 202-225-7896
    Fax: 202-226-2279
    Likely town:
    Massapequa Park 11762

    John Kline (MN-02)
    Phone: 202-225-2271
    Fax: 202-225-2595
    Likely town: Cottage Grove 55016

    Tom Latham (IA-03)
    Phone: 202-225-5476
    Fax: 202-225-3301
    Likely town: Ames 50010

    Buck McKeon (CA-25)
    Phone: 202-225-1956
    Fax: 202-226-0683
    Likely town: Palmdale 93551

    Pat Meehan (PA-07)
    Phone: 202-225-2011
    Fax: 202-226-0280
    Likely town: Springfield 19064

    Rich Nugent (FL-11)
    Phone: 202-225-1002
    Fax: 202-226-6559
    Likely town: Brooksville 34613

    Erik Paulsen (MN-03)
    Phone: 202-225-2871
    Fax: 202-225-6351
    Likely town: Bloomington 55425

    Todd Russell Platts (PA-19)
    Phone: 202-225-5836
    Fax: 202-226-1000
    Likely town: York 17404

    Tom Reed (NY-23)
    Phone: 202-225-3161
    Fax: 202-226-6599
    Likely town: Corning 4830

    Reid Ribble (WI-08)
    Phone: 202-225-5665
    Fax: 202-225-5729
    Likely town: Green Bay 54313

    Scott Rigell (VA-02)
    Phone: 202-225-4215
    Fax: 202-225-4218
    Likely town: Virginia Beach 23456

    Jon Runyan (NJ-03)
    Phone: 202-225-4765
    Fax: 202-225-0778
    Likely town: Mount Laurel 08054

    Mike Simpson (ID-02)
    Phone: 202-225-5531
    Fax: 202-225-8216
    Likely town: Boise 83709

    Adrian Smith (NE-03)
    Phone: 202-225-6435
    Fax: 202-225-0207
    Likely town: Grand Island 68803

    Lee Terry (NE-02)
    Phone: 202-225-4155
    Fax: 202-226-5452
    Likely town: Omaha 68105

    Rob Wittman (VA-01)
    Phone: 202-225-4261
    Fax: 202-225-4382
    Likely town: Fredericksburg 22407

    Frank Wolf (VA-10)
    Phone: 202-225-5136
    Fax: 202-225-0437
    Likely town: Winchester 22602

    Rob Woodall (GA-07)
    Phone: 202-225-4272
    Fax: 202-225-4696
    Likely town: Lawrenceville 30043

    Kevin Yoder (KS-03)
    Phone: 202-225-2865
    Fax: none listed
    Likely town: Shawnee 66216

  29. 29
    Joel says:

    @Culture of Truth: I won’t be cheering for Notre Dame, but I basically root against the SEC in everything.

  30. 30
    Joel says:

    When you get a double post, you should make double post-ade.

  31. 31
    kerFuFFler says:

    @EconWatcher: @EconWatcher:

    but if only members of the tribe can serve as judges and jurors, I could see constitutional questions about being judged by your peers, as there would be for any jury system rigged to exclude particular ethnic groups.

    But we must respect the sovereignty of the tribal communities just like any other foreign country. If Americans rape someone in Mexico, they are subject to Mexican legal proceedings even though the jury would be comprised entirely of Mexicans. All the more reason to avoid breaking laws in other countries if you think their legal systems protect defendants’ rights inadequately.

  32. 32
    EconWatcher says:

    Look, I hate to defend Cantor, and I’m sure I’ll be accused of being an apologist for bad guys, but it looks to me as if the provision Cantor opposes would be plainly unconstitutional.

    There is a long line of authority establishing that the Constitution does not allow you to be tried by a jury in a criminal case if members of your ethnic group (or indeed any ethnic group) have been systematically and intentionally excluded from that jury. A quick search on the web suggested that only tribal members can sit on tribal juries, and of course tribal membership is determined by ethnicity. If that information is accurate, then it would plainly violate the constitutional rights of a non-tribal member to try him for a crime before such a jury.

    So unless my information is wrong on the above, I’m going to have to go with Cantor on this one. The right way to attack the problem would be to increase the funding for federal authorities that do have jurisdiction, not to exapnd jurisdiction to courts that have racially selected juries.

  33. 33
    ChrisB says:

    @Karmus: And I saw what you did too. Brave indeed.

    @EconWatcher: I have the same questions. Here’s something of a primer on tribal courts:

    http://www.icctc.org/tribal%20courts-final.pdf

  34. 34
    EconWatcher says:

    @kerFuFFler:

    That analogy does not work, for several reasons. US federal law enforcement authorities already have jurisdiction to prosecute crimes on Indian lands, so tribal authorities do not have the kind of sovereignty you’re discussing, unlike, say, Mexican authorities. Second, to my knowledge, Mexico does not have laws that specifically preclude members of particular racial groups from deciding criminal cases. The tribal courts in effect do, by saying that only members of the tribe may sit as juries.

  35. 35
    John Emerson says:

    @Handy: People should Google Congressman Bill Janklow (R. S.D.), rapist of Indians and killer of whites. One of his alleged rapes may have been bogus, however.

  36. 36
    Ben Cisco says:

    I didn’t really need another reason to root against ND, but DAMN! that is truly f*cked up and incredibly sad.

  37. 37
    Anya says:

    Jesus fucking christ.. I can’t even. This is the fucking 21st century and it’s still okay to treat Native Americans as subhumans? This makes me feel stabby.

  38. 38
    Persia says:

    @EconWatcher: So basically good white men shouldn’t be at the mercy of irrational darkies? Really? This is what we’re doing?

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EconWatcher:

    The problem appears to be that the local courts that theoretically should have jurisdiction are passing the buck and claiming that they can’t try cases where the crime happened on Native American lands, only the reservation courts can. But then the federal courts are simultaneously saying that only tribal members can be tried in those courts, not non-members, so the accused criminals basically walk away with no punishment whatsoever.

    This law may be trying to solve the problem the wrong way, but leaving things status quo and allowing people to get away with rape because the federal courts refuse to try them is not the way to go. If there’s a constitutional problem with trying non-members in tribal courts, then force the local courts to accept jurisdiction over those cases.

    ETA: Fixed for clarity — as far as I can tell, it’s the local courts that are passing the buck and claiming that they’re not allowed to prosecute for crimes committed on tribal lands. Generally speaking, rape is not a federal crime unless it’s committed on federal property, and it looks like the federal courts are also claiming they have no authority to try these cases. Given that the vast majority of rapes committed on tribal lands are by non-members, I suspect there’s quite a few local assholes who are well aware that they can rape a woman on the reservation any time they want and face no punishment at all.

  40. 40
    EconWatcher says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I agree with everything you said, but my understanding is that federal prosecutors are simply claiming that they don’t have the resources to attack these cases (in which case they should be given more resources).

    I’m pretty confident federal courts are not claiming to lack jurisdiction over crimes on Indian lands. When I practiced criminal defense in the Midwest, I remember reading caselaw from many prosecutions in federal court for crimes that occurred on the Pine Ridge reservation, for example. Those included prosecutions for typically state-law crimes, like murder and, if I recall, even drunk driving. But if there’s a gap in federal statutory law for rape, then that hole should be filled.

    I wouldn’t expect anyone on this website to argue that it’s Ok for criminal cases to be tried by racially gerrymandered juries, whatever the race of the defendant. I don’t think you’re arguing this. But Persia is.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Persia:

    I kind of see what he’s saying — the way the reservations are set up, they’re semi-autonomous but not truly sovereign the way a country like Mexico or Canada is. This unfortunately leads to a lot of problems when locals decide to be assholes because the local courts don’t have jurisdiction but the tribal courts can’t try non-members.

    If tribal courts are not going to be granted sovereignty over everything that happens on their lands, then local courts have to be given jurisdiction over non-members who commit crimes on tribal lands. Continuing to leave this huge loophole open for any non-member to do whatever the hell he wants is not workable.

    Also, since it sounds as though at least some of these crimes are being committed by non-members who are living on tribal lands (i.e. residents who are not members), IMO it should be fine for tribal courts to try them even with the constitutional worry that EconWatcher has. If you choose to live on tribal lands, you don’t get to claim that you’re not subject to their laws.

  42. 42
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Schlemizel: IIRC, the bill also contains money for women’s shelters and prevention programs. That money needs to be reauthorized, in addition to adding new protections as others have said.

  43. 43
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Given that reservations tend to be in remote areas, I can see that pursuing a case in federal court could be a financial hardship for the victim(s), though. You have to travel to another city, stay in a hotel. etc. Delegating these cases to local courts might be more practical.

  44. 44
    EconWatcher says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Good point, but Native American groups might have more of a problem with local state courts exercising jurisdiction over crimes on their land than they would federal authorities, because the feds have already long had that power. Also, I’m not sure what the politics would be for a local, elected county attorney in a district adjoining a reservation to go after crimes on the res. What would their incentive be? To put it bluntly, the victims would not be voting constituents, so they might not care.

  45. 45
    rikyrah says:

    I just have this visceral reaction to reading about Cantor’s ‘ objections’.

    Non-White Women having protections against others wanting to VIOLATE THEM?

    of course not.

    Same old…same old. …

  46. 46
    PurpleGirl says:

    @PurpleGirl: I just checked my congressman’s web site, I thought Joseph Crowley was one of the bill’s sponsors. While the new bill isn’t mentioned directly, there is mention that he is the sponsor of one of the other new changes. He and Carolyn Maloney worked on getting a ban on female genital mutilation into the bill.

  47. 47
    Joey Maloney says:

    @shortstop:

    It’s banal to keep shouting, “WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!”…and yet I can’t stop doing it.

    I’ve been doing it since 1995.

  48. 48
    brantl says:

    @EconWatcher: You’re reading this wrong. You don’t have to try them in tribal court, just allow the tribal police to apprehend them.

  49. 49
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EconWatcher:

    I’m not sure what you mean by “go after” crimes. It would seem to be pretty logical to have the tribal police do the investigation and turn the evidence over to the local DA, who would then prosecute the non-member(s) involved.

    As for why — because it’s that DA’s fucking job, that’s why. If they don’t like it, they can go get a job somewhere else.

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, as I said above, it makes no sense to me that tribal courts don’t have jurisdiction over non-members who are living on the reservation who commit crimes like domestic violence. That’s like saying that if I commit a crime while on vacation in New York, I can claim that I’m a California resident and New York can’t touch me.

  51. 51
    JG says:

    The jury of your peers argument is crap for several reasons. First off, the federal government took jurisdiction away from tribes on some things but not others as they liked. They can certainly give it back as they like and tribes should have 100% full jurisdiction ON THEIR OWN SOVEREIGN LAND.

    It is not exactly unclear when you are on tribal land. Also, don’t rape people?

    Regardless, tribal authorities can certainly investigate and collaborate with non-tribal authorities but are also prevented from doing that.

  52. 52
    Darkrose says:

    Has Cantor proposed an alternate solution?

    My atavistic response, which I know isn’t helpful, is, “If you don’t want to be tried by a tribal court, don’t come onto the reservation and rape someone, dipshit!”

  53. 53
    EconWatcher says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This has probably been beaten to death, but if you commit a crime while visiting New York from another state, you won’t be tried by a jury from which members of your ethnic group have been intentionally excluded. That’s the issue here.

    We’re not talking about whether you’re subject to the substantive laws of a place you visit; we’re talking about whether you have the procedural rights afforded to you by the US Constitution when you are on Indian lands. You do, and so do the Native Americans who live there.

    By the way, we’re talking about procedural rights for people who have been accused, but not convicted, of crimes. So if anyone here (not necessarily you) is saying, hey, it’s coddling rapists to demand that they be tried before a jury that was not racially gerrymandered, you’ve fallen for the wingnut trope of believing that it’s coddling criminals to insist on procedural rights for those accused of crime. Again, not a sentiment I would expect to prevail here.

  54. 54
    Darkrose says:

    @EconWatcher: The problem is that as things stand, there are non-Native men going to reservations and raping Native women because they know they can get away with it. If the proposed solution doesn’t work, then someone needs to come up with a better one. The status quo is not acceptable, and Cantor’s willingness to make it so is what makes him a colossal dickwit in this instance.

    ETA: The article I link above says that the provisions about being tried in tribal courts specifically apply to non-Native men with Native spouses or domestic partners. This implies that they’re living on the reservation, in which case, I have no problem with them being tried by tribal courts.

  55. 55
    Persia says:

    @EconWatcher:

    This has probably been beaten to death, but if you commit a crime while visiting New York from another state, you won’t be tried by a jury from which members of your ethnic group have been intentionally excluded. That’s the issue here.

    But there are white people living on tribal lands. And there are certainly people who are mixed-race living on reservations. And there are certainly many, many cases in the US where non-white defendants have been tried by white juries. Sometimes it’s an accident of geography, sometimes it’s not.

    EDIT: And the use of ‘gerrymander’ in your comment above is baffling.

  56. 56
    mdblanche says:

    If Native Americans don’t like how they’re treated in this country, then they should go back where they came from.

  57. 57
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @EconWatcher:

    How long has it been unconstitutional to have ALL juries made up exclusively of white males?

  58. 58
    Linda Featheringill says:

    @mdblanche: #56

    If Native Americans don’t like how they’re treated in this country, then they should go back where they came from.

    :-)

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EconWatcher:

    We’re not talking about whether you’re subject to the substantive laws of a place you visit; we’re talking about whether you have the procedural rights afforded to you by the US Constitution when you are on Indian lands. You do, and so do the Native Americans who live there.

    Actually, the Native Americans who live there do not have those same procedural rights — they are subject to the tribal laws when they are on tribal lands, not the US Constitution. And that’s where this loophole is coming in — you’re insisting that only some of the people living on or visiting tribal lands should be subject to tribal law, but others should have automatic immunity from those laws based on their ethnicity — or, rather, their lack of ethnicity.

    If I, a white person, committed a crime in an all-black or mostly-black city, could I claim immunity from prosecution because I wouldn’t get a jury of my peers? And yet this is what the guys committing these crimes are getting — not a change of venue, but actual immunity from prosecution because they’re slipping into the cracks between the semi-sovereignty of the reservation and the US Constitution.

  60. 60
    EconWatcher says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Well, not nearly long enough, of course. There was a 1930s case (Norris v. Alamaba) ruling that it was unconstitutional to systematically exclude AAs from juries, but it was probably the 1970s or 1980s before reality matched the nominal law. (And it wasn’t until the 1980s that the Supremes forbid use of peremptory challenges on racial grounds.)

    I may be mistaken, but there seems to be a vibe here that it’s OK to have criminal trials with racially gerrymandered juries, as long as the defendants are white males and the juries are of another group. But surely no one means that.

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Also, too, it’s pretty hard to argue that Native Americans living on reservations have no sovereignty when they’re issued tribal passports rather than US passports.

    Let’s use a closely related situation — if a US citizen commits a crime in Puerto Rico, should s/he stand trial in the Puerto Rican courts, or could s/he successfully argue that, as a single-ethnicity territory of the US, Puerto Rico is unconstitutionally restricting his/her right to trial by a jury of his/her peers?

  62. 62
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EconWatcher:

    I may be mistaken, but there seems to be a vibe here that it’s OK to have criminal trials with racially gerrymandered juries, as long as the defendants are white males and the juries are of another group.

    No, the vibe is that reservations were deliberately set up to be separate from the US and have their own laws and courts. A reservation is not a state like California or New York — it is a territory, like Puerto Rico or Guam.

    Your argument is that a white male can never be put on trial in a US territory that is not majority-white (or majority English-speaking, for that matter) because those territories are “racially gerrymandered” so therefore their laws should not apply to any white males who commit crimes there.

    Are you really not aware of the legal status of reservations, or are you just playing dumb to be a troll?

  63. 63
    Persia says:

    @Mnemosyne: Now, now, if there’s one thing that doesn’t get enough attention in this country, it’s the unique situation and delicate fee-fees of white men.

  64. 64
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Darkrose: Ahem. Much as I believe Cantor is the dipshit who’s just being spiteful and not principled over due process, your warning would be better phrased as “If you don’t want to be tried by a tribal court, don’t come onto the reservation rape be accused of raping someone, dipshit!”

  65. 65
    Peregrinus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think this explains the legal status issue best, though Puerto Rico isn’t a perfect simile, because Puerto Rican Hispanics can be Native American, Caucasian (like yours truly) or Afro-Caribbean, and there are definitely racial issues involved.

    It’s also not a perfect simile because you seem to be saying that tribal law can go beyond questions of the US constitution (in saying that being subject to tribal law overrides the Constitution). Puerto Rico can’t. Our law can’t violate or abridge the Constitution.

  66. 66
    Darkrose says:

    @The Other Chuck: As I said, that’s a purely atavistic response directed at the guys who ARE actually raping women.

    It’s amazing, though, how much concern there is for the accused rapists when only 13% of rapes reported by Native women result in an arrest.

  67. 67
    Darkrose says:

    @Persia:

    @Mnemosyne: Now, now, if there’s one thing that doesn’t get enough attention in this country, it’s the unique situation and delicate fee-fees of white men.

    I’m noticing that as so often happens in discussions of rape, there’s a whole lot of mansplaining going on.

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Peregrinus:

    Yeah, it’s not a perfect simile, and I probably went a bit too far in painting tribal law as not subject to the strictures of the US Constitution when I’m pretty sure that it is, but if EconWatcher’s problem is the “ethnicity” of the potential jury on a reservation, then that problem extends out to Puerto Rico and Guam and other US territories and should apply equally to US citizens who commit crimes in those US territories. IMO, of course.

    (I should also say that I am not a lawyer, just someone with access to the internet whose parents live near a reservation, so I’ve heard about some of the legal peculiarities of their status.)

  69. 69
    Peregrinus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think the difference is (according to EconWatcher here) that in a tribal court you’ve already settled the question of whether you’ll be represented by a jury of your peers, whereas in a place like Puerto Rico or a majority-black city, serving on a jury isn’t limited by characteristics like “ethnicity.” My former high school headmaster, born and raised in Pennsylvania, could serve on a jury in Puerto Rico if he were called up.

    The status quo is completely unworkable, of course, but at the same time I think this could open up the provision to a constitutional challenge.

  70. 70
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Another Republican blaming the victim?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....51761.html

  71. 71
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Peregrinus:

    My former high school headmaster, born and raised in Pennsylvania, could serve on a jury in Puerto Rico if he were called up.

    I would be very interested to see a citation for that if you have one handy. Do you mean that he could serve on a jury there if he was a resident, or that any US citizen can serve on a jury in Puerto Rico or Guam?

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, let’s face it, it’s not like it’s an accident that the tribal police and judicial systems are set up in such a way that they can investigate and punish members of their tribe but are not permitted even to arrest non-members who are accused of committing crimes on the reservation’s territory. The system is set up in such a way that it’s easy for locals to exploit the “no laws” loopholes on the reservation knowing that even if they’re caught, they can’t be arrested by the local authorities and no one in the federal government is going to care enough to prosecute them.

  73. 73
    EconWatcher says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    OK, I’m a lawyer, and I’m trying to discuss a legal distinction: If you happen to end up in front of an all-white (or all Latino or all Native American) jury because that’s who lives in the district where the crime is tried, there is no constitutional issue there. It might seem unfair, but there is no constitutional issue, unless they’re shown to have an actual bias against you.

    But if people other than the one ethnic group have been legally excluded from the jury (as would be the case with a tribal court, because only members of the tribe can legally sit), then there is a constitutional issue. The intentional or systematic exlcusion is the key. That’s why there is a constitutional issue. There is no controversy about it. , and why the PR scenario is beside the point.

    You made references to stupidity and trolling when you do not know this basic legal distinction. You’ve said you’re not a lawyer. OK. But maybe you should know what you’re talking about before you make such references.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EconWatcher:

    But if people other than the one ethnic group have been legally excluded from the jury (as would be the case with a tribal court, because only members of the tribe can legally sit), then there is a constitutional violation. The intentional or systematic exlcusion is the key. Taht’s why there is a constitutional issue. There is no controversy about it.

    And the fact that the tribal court is required BY US LAW to restrict itself to members of that tribe has no bearing whatsoever on the constitutionality of it? Doesn’t that mean that the entire reservation system is unconstitutional since the federal government is dictating that only people who belong to a specific ethnicity are bound by its laws and anyone who is not of that ethnicity is immune from prosecution?

    I have been entirely respectful, and you accused me of being stupid or a troll when you do not know this legal distinction.

    No, I’m pointing out that the legal distinction that you’re making does not apply to reservations, which legally are “domestic dependent nations” and not part of the US. But you seem to refuse to recognize that there’s any legal difference at all between New York City and the Gila River Indian Community.

  75. 75
    kerFuFFler says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Second, to my knowledge, Mexico does not have laws that specifically preclude members of particular racial groups from deciding criminal cases. The tribal courts in effect do, by saying that only members of the tribe may sit as juries.

    But how often would there be even a single Native American on a typical jury in federal court? That hardly seems fair to the victims. Why should all the cases basically come before juries that may not feel much connection to the victims? Giving the federal courts jurisdiction seems to be just as exclusionary, if not in theory, then in practice.

  76. 76
    Mnemosyne says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Also, one of the reasons I’m getting so frustrated with you is that you are completely buying into the current system as it is set up, which says that tribal members have some limited sovereignty (which can be abridged at any time and is conditional upon how the official at the BIA that you talk to is feeling that day), but the locals have Constitutional Rights which cannot be abridged at any time, even if it means you end up abridging the rights of the tribal members.

    Do you really not see how you’re deciding that the rights of the locals should always trump the rights of the tribal members even when those locals commit crimes on reservation property?

  77. 77
    Peregrinus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The former. I should’ve been clearer. The man in question isn’t Puerto Rican by birth or parentage or anything along those lines, but he is a resident of Puerto Rico, so he can serve on a jury there.

    In other words, your jury isn’t guaranteed to be all-Puerto Rican in PR. Even if it were, you do have racial issues that could color the case (no pun intended) just as in your examples.

    This isn’t the first I’d known of the rape epidemic on Native American reservations or even that it was mostly at the hands of non-Native men, but I didn’t know the legal implications. Assuming tribal law is subject to the Constitution, I think EconWatcher is right, though that doesn’t mean that Cantor isn’t an asshole or that there isn’t a solution to the status quo.

    Perhaps there is a way for tribal courts to allow some kind of special circumstance? Or if not, for a tribal court to request a local jury be assembled (that could include tribal members) but retain a tribal judge? I don’t know about the constitutionality of either one but they seem to me like good workarounds.

  78. 78
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Peregrinus:

    The former. I should’ve been clearer. The man in question isn’t Puerto Rican by birth or parentage or anything along those lines, but he is a resident of Puerto Rico, so he can serve on a jury there.

    That’s the problem that they’re running into on reservations, though — non-members can’t serve on juries, but that’s because they’re not subject to tribal laws at all. The best the tribal police can do is escort the accused person off the reservation. It has become a very nasty Catch-22 because you have non-members living on the reservation with tribal members but if the non-member is (for example) accused of domestic violence, they can’t be prosecuted by state or local courts because it happened on the reservation, they can’t be prosecuted by tribal courts because they’re not members of the tribe, and they can’t be prosecuted by federal courts because it’s not one of the major offenses that can be referred to federal court. To make it even more confusing, some states do have jurisdiction over crimes that happen on reservation lands and can prosecute anyone who commits a crime there, but some states do not.

    If we’re worried about constitutionality, how in the hell is it constitutional to decide that tribal courts can prosecute non-member Native Americans but not non-members of other ethnicities?

  79. 79
    Peregrinus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think the takeaway here is that the constitutionality of tribal courts is fucked all over the place, because the last sentence of your first paragraph, according to what I just read, shouldn’t be true for any state – I was going to correct my own mistake in assuming that local courts could take over for tribal ones. Technically, I think you could do this under VAWA as from what I’ve just read Congress is the chief determinant of what exactly “tribal sovereignty” means.

    The decision of allowing tribal courts to try non-member Native Americans is most likely simple racism; they assumed that since all of them had tribal courts that were set up similarly, then it wouldn’t make a difference if you were a Chickasaw being tried in a Seneca Nation court. I would say if you want to grant tribal courts the right to prosecute or judge non-members of other ethnicities, you start by arguing that they have essentially already been given that power in prosecuting non-member Native Americans.

    At this point it depends on Congress. I still think if it’s simply handed over to tribal courts you would have a challenge on the grounds EconWatcher is laying out here before very long. But if it includes some sort of protection for the tribal court – such as stipulating that a tribal court can convene a special jury for the purpose of trying a non-member – or allowances for trials in local courts, then I think it becomes pretty much ironclad.

  80. 80
    ruemara says:

    @EconWatcher: Wait. Are you actually arguing that a Native American jury would be too prejudiced to provide a fair hearing? SMH.

  81. 81

    I’m pessimistic today so this quote from Stanley Donwood is resonating with me. Check out the gif he created from murals in Los Angeles: http://pitchfork.com/news/4885.....mated-gif/

    Los Angeles is, of course, fucked. Everything is fucked, all of our cities, all of our towns, our villages, our farms, our entire way of living. and I don’t mean fucked in a good way, oh no; I mean it in a very, very bad way. Our energy rich and culturally complacent society has doomed everything, and really, we all know this. Or at least, we should do. We have run out of everything, pissed it up against the wall, blown it, spent it, wasted it. We’ve run out of money, of oil, of gasoline, of water, of food, of any resources, of energy, of everything. We are reduced to trying to blast pathetic amounts of gas from solid rock and we don’t care if we poison our water while we’re doing it.

    The apocalypse is already here, and the saddest thing is that we’re trying to fool ourselves that it isn’t happening. Our politicians are fucking idiots, our heroes are fools, our industries are dying, our farmland is trashed and our culture resembles nothing more than a self-devouring joke. Our architecture is hideous and our art revels in empty platitudes. There is no future; we have evicted ourselves from our own cities, rendered our agriculture poisonous, criminalised the poor, aggrandized the rich, honoured the stupid and ridiculed the intelligent. I don’t pretend to stand outside this fucking mess. I’m just as guilty as anyone.

  82. 82
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Peregrinus:

    This seems to be a fairly comprehensive article about the difficulties of enforcing domestic violence orders in Indian Country (which is an actual legal term) because of the patchwork of overlapping jurisdictions.

  83. 83
    Peregrinus says:

    @ruemara:

    No, he’s arguing that one has the right to be tried by a jury of one’s peers, and that since only tribal members can sit on tribal court juries, there is an usable constitutional issue. As Mnemosyne said, though, the tribal limitation is there because Congress put it there, and Congress is the supreme organ of policy for the tribal system, so they could reverse themselves on this now.

    I don’t necessarily think this makes Cantor right, but if the law goes forward, I would expect a challenge on these grounds by the first asshole who finds himself a decent lawyer with some knowledge of the relevant Constitutional jurisprudence , and I don’t know that that challenge would get summarily rejected.

  84. 84
    Peregrinus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The article does seem to have a bleak POV in terms of where to go from the current situation, which is itself pretty bad. The only other thing I can think of is to have a “special grant of jurisdiction” for domestic violence or domestic disturbance cases that would allow state authorities to step in if the perpetrator is not Native American. Again, Congress can do this, since they just did it to allow states to have such special grants, and it would get entirely around Cantor’s bullshit objection.

    The question is whether they will. And by this point law is so entrenched that while a creative solution is called for there seem to be precious few ones on the table right now.

  85. 85
    Darkrose says:

    @Peregrinus: It’s a little confusing to me, but the impression I have is that the tribal court part of the law is intended to address non-Native men who are living on tribal land. If that’s the case, couldn’t you argue that by living in tribal jurisdiction, you’re subject to tribal law? It wouldn’t solve the whole problem, but it would help.

  86. 86
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @EconWatcher: is the constitution implicated if tribal lands are considered sovereign? You rape someone in, say Slovenia, you’re punished under their law. If you don’t want to be subject to tribal law, stay off the reservation.

  87. 87
    ruemara says:

    @Peregrinus: I’m not seeing affiliation as somehow a standard of peerage. IANAL, but that’s like saying only Jewish people could sit in a jury box if a Rebbe ever went to criminal court. Why stop there? Why not insist that only protestants can be peers to protestants? The limitations of tribal courts on tribal lands are limited arbitrarily and with a definite interest in protecting a certain class who has always feared equal treatment under the law.

  88. 88
    Peregrinus says:

    @Darkrose:

    I expect that would be the argument the plaintiff (presumably the tribal government) would make, but because tribal sovereignty comes from the US Constitution, the defendant could still make a case for that deprivation. This assumes that VAWA is passed with that tribal court part and that it strikes down a good bit of previous federal law.

    Pragmatically speaking it’s a pretty decent fix because it puts the problem in hands of people who should be interested in solving it and tribal courts and police should have the resources to go after such offenses. The question is more navigating it through all the technicalities. From what I understand, the BIA and executive branch defer to Congressional responsibility in deciding exactly how much leeway to give tribes (in theory, not always in practice) and so a well-worded amendment could really help matters. You just also have to fortify it against the inevitable legal challenge, which I think EconWatcher has laid out, and which I think, without some extra provisions, could be successful.

  89. 89
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    I’m confused on the jury argument. Is it because classes of people are excluded from tribal juries, or the mere fact that tribes tend to be ethnically homegeneous? If the former: valid argument. If the latter: you’re retarded.

  90. 90
    Peregrinus says:

    @ruemara:

    The only problem with that is that Jewish people aren’t considered sovereign unto themselves under United States law, whereas tribal affiliation is used to determine whether someone can be tried by state or tribal court – in fact, according to the article Mnemosyne posted at #82, it’s the primary consideration. Only non-affiliated Native Americans are considered under separate criteria.

    I fully agree that tribal courts are arbitrary and that they protect white men in their limited power, but I’m also taking into account the law as it stands and a fairly big opening to a future constitutional challenge.

    I’m not sure what the best solution would be – the special grants of jurisdiction, limited to non-Indian perpetrators of domestic abuse, still seem to me like the best possibility because they would allow local courts to be involved and there would be no question of whether they would have jurisdiction. But while I’ve got some knowledge of the legal system (mainly in educational law), I’m also not a lawyer.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Darkrose:

    If that’s the case, couldn’t you argue that by living in tribal jurisdiction, you’re subject to tribal law?

    That, unfortunately, is exactly the result that Congress has been deliberately avoiding since at least the mid-1800s and it’s one of the reasons law is so fucked-up when it comes to reservations. They’re kind of semi-sovereign when it’s convenient, but the feds can step in and take a prosecution away from tribal courts if it’s part of the Major Crimes Act.

    As far as I can tell (and the Wikipedia article is a bit biased), there’s no requirement for the feds to step in and take over prosecution of a major crime — the Act just gives them the ability to do so. So if a rape is committed on tribal lands by a non-member and the federal prosecutor isn’t interested in prosecuting it, the victim is SOL.

  92. 92
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @ruemara: or consider a nonwhite committing a crime in a predominantly white area. If the state strikes nonwhite jurors from the pool without cause (absent peremptory challenges) that’s not ok. If it has any number of discriminatory policies also not ok. But that != the right to a certain jury composition. As long as the jurors are legitimately drawn from a pool of local residents, you have no constitutional right to challenge the makeup of your jury.

  93. 93
    Peregrinus says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut:

    Read what EconWatcher said. It’s not that tribal juries tend to be ethnically homogeneous, it’s that, legally, they have to be. As Mnemosyne and ruemara have pointed out, though, the genesis of that is a desire to protect white men from repercussions for violating tribal law, and it is also a potential weakness in giving tribal courts jurisdiction over DV cases.

  94. 94
    Peregrinus says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut:

    Right, that’s exactly what EW was saying, if framing it a little differently than I am. If you just happen to get an all-black jury and you’re white, no dice. But if it was mandated, legally, that all your jurors be, say, Luxembourgish in ancestry (obviously, this is a pure hypothetical), you might have an opening for a challenge on that basis.

  95. 95
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Peregrinus: Except the peers thing has not been interpreted quite that way. If I’m tried for rape here in Miami-Dade county, they draw the jury pool from county residents who are eligible to serve. As long as the process is not done in a discriminatory way, I absolutely do not have an absolute right to have X% Cubans or whites on the jury.

  96. 96
    Peregrinus says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut:

    And the jury argument all along has been that the process in this case is done in a discriminatory way, because only members of the tribe can serve on a tribal court jury.

  97. 97
    Peregrinus says:

    Excellent. I haven’t landed in moderation in years!

  98. 98
    Full Metal Wingnut says:

    @Peregrinus: Meh, this really depends on the legal status of tribes and sovereignty. This might be an interesting anecdote for a conflicts of law course.

    Anyway, unlike, say, Tax or criminal law or civil litigation, I highly doubt that the average blog commenter (even lawyer) has much knowledge of native american law, so I’ll be an ungracious dick and say that I take the discussion at a steep discount and will research it further

  99. 99
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Peregrinus:

    I have to admit, I now want them to pass this law with the tribal jurisdiction part in it to see what happens and if such a constitutional challenge would be successful. Though I’d probably want the Supreme Court hearing on the case to happen after Obama is able to appoint a majority and after the House is re-taken by the Democrats so that there’s half a chance that the problem might actually be fixed instead of kicked down the road for the hundredth time.

  100. 100
    Peregrinus says:

    @Full Metal Wingnut:

    The argument all along over peerage has been that, because non-members cannot legally serve on a tribal jury, the process is done in a “discriminatory” way.

    If you mean that ethnicity/affiliation isn’t a peerage category, that’s arguable. In part it’s complicated by ethnicity and affiliation being used to determine whether someone is Native American or not for judicial purposes, as well as the sovereignty issue already brought up.

    (Let’s see if I can figure out which word landed me in mod the last time.)

  101. 101
    Peregrinus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s what I would do if I were in Congress’ place – technically, they have the power to determine who gets what jurisdiction.. I would expect that the first challenge wouldn’t come immediately – though then again, the usual Supreme suspects would want to fuck over Indian Country with that case, so perhaps they would look at a way to address the issue as soon as possible.

    @Full Metal Wingnut:

    Some of my legal knowledge does come into play here because I did Fourteenth Amendment law – specifically how it relates to “immutable categories” like race and (legally) gender – so I do know a teeny bit of what the Supremes have chosen to define as a racial issue and so on over the course of the years. The article Mnemosyne posted above is also pretty good at summarizing the historical essentials and providing the reader with a view into the current situation.

  102. 102
    Darkrose says:

    Why do I have the horrible feeling that we’ve all spent more time considering the nuances of this issue than Eric Cantor has?

  103. 103
    Peregrinus says:

    @Darkrose:

    Because Cantor is a moronic prick who in any sane country would not be allowed anywhere near the levers of power?

  104. 104
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @EconWatcher: ur use of ethnic group is disingenuous. Tribal membership is not determined along racial lines (blood), nor are tribal members culturally homogeneous. Tribal membership is a legal matter, akin to citizenship. If you are a yankees fan visiting Boston and u stab a red sox fan in a bar fight, ur not entitled to a jury of Bronx residents. It’s gonna be Suffolk County. Oh well.

    Btw, race is not a legal basis for exclusion from a us jury, but citizenship certainly is. Try again.

  105. 105
    Darkrose says:

    @Peregrinus: That would it! I knew there was a reason.

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Peregrinus:

    I’m guessing that it would come down to the question of sovereignty and how much the tribal reservations really have. If they are sovereign (or even semi-sovereign) states, then the Constitution wouldn’t apply any more than it would if someone committed a crime in Mexico or Canada. If they are not actually sovereign, then that becomes a whole other can of worms trying to figure out what their actual status is. It would make sense to me to legally treat them more as US territories that happen to exist within the contiguous US, but then you have the historical problem of non-Native American a-holes moving in and taking over because it’s easy to do it.

    The whole area of Indian Country law is such a mess that (IM non-lawyer’s O) it’s ridiculous to make a blanket statement of, “Oh, that’s unconstitutional.” At this point, given the state of the case law and existing legislation, who the fuck knows anymore?

  107. 107
    Peregrinus says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Fair enough. It seems that they are sovereign, but that that sovereignty flows from the Constitution. One way in which your PR example does hold water is that Puerto Rico has the option to seek greater sovereignty while still being beholden to the federal Constitution, as a fairly large swath of Puerto Ricans are considering greater autonomy as an important political issue.

    As far as I’m concerned, if someone wants to challenge it in court, let them try. Though as you say I’d prefer to wait until the number of rectal-cranial-loopback-patient Supremes is relatively low.

  108. 108
    Svensker says:

    @EconWatcher:

    But if people other than the one ethnic group have been legally excluded from the jury (as would be the case with a tribal court, because only members of the tribe can legally sit), then there is a constitutional issue

    Tribal members are not necessarily of the same ethnic group — there have been a number of tribes that have adopted members who are of other racial groups. The tribe — while primarily of one ethnicity — seems to be more like a nation-state.

    Would you say that you would object to a jury that only allowed American citizens and wouldn’t let non-American citizens serve? (Which, obviously, is the case in any country.)

    Beaten by @AHH onna Droid:

  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Svensker:

    Not to mention that, like many ethnic groups in the United States, there has been a whole lot of race-mixing, so the guy or gal sitting on the jury for the Pima tribe could be as little as 1/8th Pima and still be a certified member of that tribe. So we really are talking more about ethnic identification than racial identification here.

  110. 110
    Darkrose says:

    This has been an educational discussion for the most part, which is cool. That said, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that once again, the GOP is embracing the Rape Party label. We need to have Democratics telling anyone who’ll listen that Eric Cantor thinks Native American women don’t deserve to be protected from rape. This is who they are. Make them own it.

  111. 111
    seaboogie says:

    @c u n d gulag: Dickens was always great with the evocative names – wonder what moniker he would have assigned to Cantor: Sir Snively Douchenozzle, from Sphincter-upon-Weaseldowne? Juicers?

  112. 112
    Pseudonym says:

    I don’t know if it’s been mentioned yet, but I think a lot of the legal issues were discussed over at LGM as well.

  113. 113
    TenguPhule says:

    So instead of arresting potential non-native rapists on Tribal Lands, the only solution is for The Tribes to kill or castrate all non-native men entering the reservations just to be safe?

    Nice job breaking it, Cantor.

Comments are closed.