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Shorter Eric Cantor: “The Rights of White Men to Sexually Assault Women of Color Shall Not Be Abridged!”

[ 189 ] December 7, 2012 |

Leave it to a congressman from the ex-Confederacy, where the white rape of black women has a long and sordid history, to hold up the Violence Against Women Act in order to protect white men from prosecution by tribal courts if they rape a Native American woman.

Yes that’s right. Eric Cantor is the holding up VAWA for that reason. Republicans have been fighting it tooth and nail because the new act would expand protections to immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans. They are caving on the first two. But about Native Americans, Cantor refuses to budge. Here’s the low-down.

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.

The standoff over including VAWA protections for Native American women comes at a time of appallingly high levels of violence on tribal lands. One in three Native American women have been raped or experienced attempted rape, the New York Times reported in March, and the rate of sexual assault on Native American women is more than twice the national average. President Barack Obama has called violence on tribal lands “an affront to our shared humanity.”

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.

For all intents and purposes, Eric Cantor is coming out as the defender of (mostly) whites raping non-white women. I’d say this is especially reprehensible. But it’s Cantor so it’s par for the course.

Again, the coming Republican coalition is just around the corner……

Comments (189)

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  1. I read the article and I don’t have a very strong grasp on Cantor’s alleged objections. It doesn’t seem as though he’s operating in good faith (shocker!), considering that Darrell Issa of all people has a compromise idea that isn’t seeing the light of day.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks says:

      The article wasn’t clear on that, but I assume that this is another example of the Republican tradition of disparaging the rights of women and minorities by claiming to be concerned about abstract sovereignty concerns (see also, e.g., endless invocations of “states rights” vis a vis civil rights laws and “U.S. sovereignty” vis a vis UN conventions treaties that they vote against).

  2. Davis says:

    After the Republicans rejected the treaty encouraging rights for people with disabilities, Jon Stewart pleaded, please say we’ve reached rock bottom. He got a quick answer.

    • Erik Loomis says:

      People have trouble understanding that it can always get worse.

      Moreover, it probably will. And within a few days.

      • dollared says:

        Yeah. Ask the people of Michigan. Wisconsin next!

        • Left_Wing_Fox says:

          Or Greece, or Yugoslavia, or Rwanda… there is a long way yet to fall.

        • “Ask the people of Michigan.”

          I gotta give Rick Michigan credit, I didn’t see this one coming. Rumor is he’s heading off a primary challenge in 2014, which, given his completely self involved nature, makes perfect sense.

          • Anonymous says:

            WAAAH! WAAAH!

            Keep crying, you little bitch. But Snyder just won and won big time.

            As I said below, next up: Pennsylvania.

            • CaptBackslap says:

              The citizens will have the final word on this one.

              Whether at the polls or otherwise.

              • Anonymous says:

                Sorry, the Michigan law can’t be overturned by referendum thanks to a technicality. And people just plain don’t vote in off year elections (unless they’re rock-ribbed Tea Party Republicans).

                It’s over. The Unions are finished.

                • GeoX says:

                  It’s cute the way you don’t let the fact that your predictions are constantly, laughably wrong stop you from coming back. Keep it up, li’l fella!

                • CaptBackslap says:

                  It’s even cuter that you don’t understand the reality of my last sentence up there. Folks’ patience is running thin, dog. Real, real thin. Ya dig?

                • A lame duck starts stealing silver on his way out the door, and this loser thinks he’s winning.

                • LIttle Suzies says:

                  “It’s cute the way you…”

                  “It’s even cuter that you…”

                  GAWD…could it get any more GAY?

                • witless chum says:

                  It’s cute that you think it’s an insult. And capital letters, those are cute, too.

                • NBarnes says:

                  It’s great news! For Mitt Romney!

                • TOM SAWYER says:

                  Unless you are rich as unions go so goes you.

                • Halloween Jack says:

                  You know what’s going to be finished? Waffles, crisp, golden, fresh-from-the-griddle waffles, that’s what. Good to the last bite!

                • Anonymous says:

                  That’s right, the Republican party didn’t get completely steam-rollered in the 2006 midterm elections, picking up zero governorships, zero seats in the Senate, zero seats in the House, and majorities in zero state legislative chambers,* while losing six governorships, six Senate seats, thirty House seats, and twelve state legislative chambers. Seriously, do you people have no memory of anything that happened prior to 2009?

                  * They did gain control of the Montana House and Mississippi Senate by tieing the chambers 50-50 and 26-26 respectively, with Republican lieutenant governors casting the tie-breaker votes; not much consolation for the general shellacking.

    • Major Kong says:

      We did hit rock bottom. They they broke out the shovels and started to dig.

  3. c u n d gulag says:

    I’m hoping that some VA Native Americans see fit to seek some tribal justice on this evil motherfecker’s sorry @$$.

    Hey Congressmoron Cantor, if instead of Native American women these were Jewish women would you feel the same way?

    What the feck is wrong with these feckin’ “people?”
    DON’T ANSWER THAT!
    I know…

    • Uncle Ebeneezer says:

      Hey Congressmoron Cantor, if instead of Native American women these were Jewish women would you feel the same way?

      Not all tribes are created equal, apparently.

      At least now we can say to Iraqi’s “Hey we treat you just like we treat our own. Now put some more purple ink on those thumbs and come over here and celebrate democracy for the cameras!”

    • Anonymous says:

      But I thought according to the Romneyites the Native Americans ARE Jews–the lost tribes of Israel and all that…

      Hard to keep all these loons straight.

  4. dl says:

    the theoretical argument against allowing tribal courts jurisdiction to try non-tribe members is that the many tribal courts do not guarantee exactly the same rights for defendants that the u.s. constitution does. one example is that some tribal courts allow only members of the tribe to serve as jurors.

    • ironic irony says:

      “one example is that some tribal courts allow only members of the tribe to serve as jurors.”

      Have any Native American defendants ever used the opposite of this phenomena to demand an all Native jury in a non-tribal court with an all white jury? Because if that is the one theoretical holding this up, then to me that is pretty weak sauce.

      Any insight you might have would be great.

      • dl says:

        the (u.s.) constitutional requirement (taylor v. la. 1975) is that the pool from which jurors are selected be a representative “fair” cross-section of the community. that only bars systematic exclusion of ethnic groups from the jury pool, and doesn’t guarantee a jury all the same ethnic group as the defendant. but it is interesting that for a tribe that does not allow non-members to live on the reservation, an all-tribe-member jury pool might be constitutional.

    • Don’t state courts require that only citizens of their respective states serve as jurors?

      • Indeed they do; but, then, states are not allowed to define citizenship by race, so the problem of all-whatever juries is one that can be cleaned up with standard anti-discrimination/equal-protection law.

    • Alan Tomlinson says:

      It’s their land: of course it’s their legal system. If you go to a foreign country, you obey their laws. Pretty fucking simple.

      Cheers,

      Alan Tomlinson

      • Extraterritoriality will never die.

        Also, I can’t claim extensive experience, but I’ve spent enough time on and around reservations to notice that they do seem to attract the kind of white guy who’s fucked up one too many times to still be welcome back in town. That those guys could be hours away from cops who could actually investigate and charge them is nuts.

    • Anon21 says:

      Also: no appointed counsel if you can’t afford it. To me, that’s a pretty big deal, but the solution should probably be to require appointment of counsel, not immunize non-tribe members from prosecution in tribal courts.

    • Bill Murray says:

      but isn’t the bill about who can respond to and arrest possible perpetrators, not adjudication after arrest?

    • DrDick says:

      one example is that some tribal courts allow only members of the tribe to serve as jurors.

      What? You mean that they are just like every other court jurisdiction in the country and only allow citizens of the jurisdiction to serve on juries? Because that is what we are talking about here. If you have a problem with the fact that only Indians can be tribal citizens, take it up with the federal government as that is codified by federal law.

      • You mean that they are just like every other court jurisdiction in the country and only allow citizens of the jurisdiction to serve on juries?

        What other jurisdiction is defined by race?

        • DrDick says:

          Again, that is a matter of federal law. If you do not like it, take it up with your US Senator. Tribes are legal sovereigns comparable to states under federal law and they have legal an political jurisdiction over their reservations. No legal jurisdiction allows non-citizens to serve on juries.

          • Again, that is a matter of federal law. If you do not like it, take it up with your US Senator.

            1. What the hell kind of a reaction is that to a bad law? Certainly not one you ever express under any other circumstance.

            2. The way “my Senator” – extended to refer to Congress as a whole and through time – has “taken it up” has been to deny jurisdiction of tribal courts over non-members. How’s that working out? I think it’s a problem, one that leads to outcomes like the VAWA tribal initiative being blocked. I assume you consider that to be a bad outcome.

            Tribes are legal sovereigns comparable to states under federal law and they have legal an political jurisdiction over their reservations

            If noting tribal sovereignty was the end of the issue, then we shouldn’t be using American resources to enhance the powers of foreign governments that do not abide by our values. Of course, that’s not the end of the issue, and it’s silly to try to roadblock it there.

            • DrDick says:

              Come talk to me when Massachusetts allows folks from Rhode Island to serve on their juries or when you can only be tried in a jurisdiction where you can serve on the jury anywhere else.

              • Come talk to me when either state mandates all-white juries.

                There is not the slightest chance that you would ever hide behind such legalisms, and ignore the elephant in the room, if we were talking about all-white juries trying non-white people.

                Your point about how this situation came to be was quite clear the first time. It doesn’t resolve the glaringly obvious problem to note how we got here.

                • Your point about how this situation came to be was quite clear the first time.

                  I want to be absolutely clear about this: There is nobody who fails to understand this point that you keep repeating. It does not require further repetition or explanation. I know why single-race juries try people of other races on reservations.

                  My point is about the result of that cause. Noting that there is something similar to that cause in other places, which do not see that same result, isn’t really an answer.

                • DrDick says:

                  Nothing you say has any relevance here. There is nothing in tribal laws that bars people from serving on juries based on race, only citizenship and that is no different than any other US jurisdiction.

                • There is nothing in tribal laws that bars people from serving on juries based on race

                  …except the tribal membership laws, which are defined by race. Other than those laws, there are no such laws.

                  The problem is, those are the laws that matter.

                  Noting that this dance has two steps instead of one is the type of legalistic dodge I was talking about.

                • only citizenship and that is no different than any other US jurisdiction.

                  You know this statement not to be true.

                  You know that no other jurisdiction uses race or ethnicity as part of its citizenship.

                • DrDick says:

                  You know that no other jurisdiction uses race or ethnicity as part of its citizenship.

                  No other jurisdiction is required by federal law to do so. The tribes are not discriminating here, the federal government is. A number of tribes even tried to grant citizenship to whites living on the reservations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and were prohibited from doing so by the US government. Your argument does not hold.

                • Tybalt says:

                  This is nonsense. None of this is the choice of the country in question. The idea that these nations’ sovereignty should be narrowed or impinged because of conditions imposed upon them by a foreign power is all kinds of fucked up, joe.

                • Shining Raven says:

                  You know that no other jurisdiction uses race or ethnicity as part of its citizenship.

                  Simply not true, or are you solely referring to the US?

                  German citizenship is still tightly bound to ethnicity, it is difficult ti become naturalized without German parents.

                  Similarily, I am pretty sure that there are ways to become a member in the native American nations, if you really try.

        • Shining Raven says:

          Almost all jurisdiction are defined by nationality.

          And the tribes are indeed nations and defined by their nationality. It is not a question of race.

          By your logic, the same argument would apply e.g. to Germany, where citizenship is primarily defined by descent from other citizens, and it is difficult to become naturalized if you are not descended from German parents.

          This is a question of how one defines ones own nation, not a race.

      • Perhaps I should say, what other jurisdiction defines citizenship by race today?

        Obviously, there are examples from the past, and yes, it was problematic when it come to juries and defendants.

        • Tybalt says:

          You can’t possibly argue, in good faith, that these nations’ sovereign rights should be impinged because some foreign power is constraining their sovereignty in some other material but unrelated way.

          That’s simply an incoherent way to slip a spanner into the works that reads first nations’ sovereignty down to zero. A legal genocide to match the others, eh?

    • DrDick says:

      The actual argument against allowing tribal governments to try non-Indians (which this addresses) is Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, sometimes cited by legal scholars as one of the most racist SCOTUS decisions ever.

  5. sharculese says:

    The failure of Congress to re-authorize VAWA has been one of my biggest disappointments with this term.

  6. Tnap01 says:

    Funny thing is Cantor can act all Nathan Bedford Forresty he wants but he still ain’t going to Heaven!

  7. Joe says:

    It gives tribal courts limited jurisdiction to oversee domestic violence offenses committed against Native American women by non-Native American men on tribal lands.

    This brings up a complicated constitutional question of tribal authority over non-tribal individuals.

    • ironic irony says:

      But if the crime occurred on tribal lands, then why wouldn’t a non-Native American be subject to tribal laws? Could the tribe bar any non-Native American from entering tribal lands to keep non-Native Americans from committing crimes against their people (especially if they cannot prosecute said non-Native American criminal)?

      Genuinely asking.

      • Joe says:

        Native Americans have limited rights of self-government given the special nature of their governments and the contours of certain laws set up by Congress.

        This includes the jurisdiction of their courts. It might violate federal law to do “x” on tribal land but it might have to be tried in a federal district (not tribal) court in certain instances.

        I’m not saying this is ideal, mind you. I’m stating the law now accepted by the USSC. This particularly arises when their courts have power over non-tribal citizens.

        As to barring entry, I don’t think so generally speaking though perhaps others might know. It is after all still U.S. territory. I’m not aware of any tribal area where non-tribal members can be kept out. That would seem only something a true sovereign like the U.S. itself could do.

        • ironic irony says:

          First of all, thanks for the answer. I really do enjoy learning from some of the commenters here that have more knowledge and insight than I do about, well, a lot of things.

          Secondly, could “it might violate federal law to do “x” on tribal land but it might have to be tried in a federal district (not tribal) court in certain instances” be similar to certain crimes committed on military installations, where those crimes are felonies on post, but are misdemeanors off post?

          Ultimately, though, the resistance to try and protect Native American women just….ugh.

          • Joe says:

            The idea I believe is that tribal governments can apply certain punishments for acts on tribal lands but currently can only apply a certain level of punishment on their own.

            So, a felony might only be applied by Congress, e.g., lesser punishments by local tribal governments.

        • Michael H Schneider says:

          I’m not aware of any tribal area where non-tribal members can be kept out

          A few decades ago I recall going down the road into one of the smaller Pueblos in NM and being met by a closed gate and a sign that said something like “Religious Celebration in Progress – non-members are forbidden to enter”

          Acoma says “You must register for a guided tour in order to visit the Pueblo. Please stay with your tour guide at all times and do not wander off the designated tour route. ”
          http://sccc.acomaskycity.org/guidelines

          • Joe says:

            Thanks. A narrow limit like that seems possible.

          • Erik Loomis says:

            I don’t think an outsider can enter Zuni Pueblo at all.

            • Michael H Schneider says:

              I don’t think an outsider can enter Zuni Pueblo at all.

              Depends what you mean by “Pueblo”.

              Zuni has always been one of the more private of the Pueblos, and has kept many of its rituals secret.

              However, there are two highways that cross Zuni land (53 and the one to Gallup, I forget the number). Highway 53 goes right through the town of Zuni on its way to Springerville and points west (or on its way to Ramah, if you’re going east).

              That area near Zuni is a bit of a boggle – I think there are Navajo lands, BLM lands, Zuni lands, State lands, Cibola National Forest lands, the town of Ramah is an old Mormon community, and there are bunches of old hippies living on private land along highway 53, too.

              You can tell when 53 enters Zuni land because the speed limit goes up (and there’s a “Welcome to Zuni” sign)

        • DrDick says:

          I’m not aware of any tribal area where non-tribal members can be kept out.

          Unallotted reservations, like some of the Pueblos, can prohibit nonmembers from living on the reservation since all the land is tribally owned. These are a small minority of tribes in the US and allotted reservations cannot prohibit outsiders from living there.

        • DrDick says:

          Under the Major Crimes Act (1885), the federal government has exclusive felony jurisdiction over reservations (except where superceded by (PL-280) and is supposed to prosecute these crimes. Unfortunately, they have completely failed in their trust duties in this regard and rarely do more than a cursory investigation. The FBI, on of two federal police agencies charged with policing Indian lands, often uses assignment to reservations as punishment duty. That is why this provision is in the current law.

      • DrDick says:

        Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe is the answer. I link to it above.

    • Murc says:

      This brings up a complicated constitutional question of tribal authority over non-tribal individuals.

      It bloody well doesn’t.

      If I commit a crime in Canada and flee to the US, the US will clap me in irons on Canada’s behalf and ship my ass right back there to stand trial.

      I see no earthly constitutional reason this can’t apply to tribal lands as well.

      • Joe says:

        The tribal courts aren’t just going to send the non-tribal men to non-tribal courts (the US sending someone “back” example) … they will have some specific power to oversee the cases themselves.

        Tribal courts, and the USSC has so determined this in various cases, have limited jurisdiction, particularly when non-tribal citizens are involved.

        • Anon21 says:

          I’m not super-familiar with Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe–been a few years since I read it for Fed Courts–but skimming it now, it looks like it’s based in a reading of Congressional policy towards tribal courts’ jurisdiction, and not constitutional principles. Is that wrong?

          • L.M. says:

            You’re right. Cf. 25 U.S.C § 1301(2), in which Congress overrode a similar Supreme Court case (Duro v. Reina) and extended Indian tribal courts’ jurisdiction to include Indians from other tribes.

            • Joe says:

              Okay. Is there case law on this law, including the USSC upholding it? Given tribes often are small in size (at times as small as hundreds), it is logical for tribal courts to handle multiple tribes. But, trying non-tribal members is not necessarily the same thing.

              • L.M. says:

                Yes; U.S. v. Lara, 541 U.S. 193 (2004).

                (In fact, Lara recognizes that 25 U.S.C. § 1301(2) goes further than I’ve made it seem: § 1301(2) purports to recognize the “inherent power” of the tribes to try non-members in their courts; it doesn’t purport to be a mere delegation of federal authority. Lara recognizes and accepts this, holding the federal government and an Indian tribe to be separate sovereigns for the purpose of the Double Jeopardy Clause.)

                • DrDick says:

                  This actually derives from Worchester v. Georgia (linked below), which holds that tribes are “domestic dependent sovereigns” with inherent sovereignty. This is also the infamous case on which Andrew Jackson defied the SCOTUS. In the late 19th and early 20th century, a number of cases (most notably Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock) held that Congress had unlimited plenary power over tribes and could unilaterally diminish, or even extinguish, tribal sovereignty. In the 1970s, a series of treaty rights cases established the residual sovereignty doctrine (on which Lara rests). This holds that any sovereign rights that the tribes do not explicitly renounce (through treaty or other agreement) and which have not explicitly been extinguished by Congressional acts are retained by the tribes.

    • L.M. says:

      What’s the constitutional question here? There has previously been some constitutional question as to whether Indian tribes have inherent authority to try non-members in their criminal courts, but the same case law that held that they don’t have this inherent authority (Oliphant; Duro) also made it perfectly clear that Congress can delegate that authority to them. And Congress has already delegated that authority to Indian tribes with respects to Indians who are members of other tribes; there’s no reason Congress can’t (or shouldn’t) do the same for non-Indian non-members.

      • Joe says:

        Duro noted “no delegation of authority to a tribe has to date included the power to punish nonmembers in tribal court” and explained why it could be problematic to do so. So, I don’t know how “perfectly clear” it all is.

        The case referenced the delegation was particularly based on tribal sovereignty over its own membership but that its courts have aspects not present in federal courts generally. There would thus arise real due process concerns if non-members are tried there. As to Indians of other tribes, I would have to know the details.

        I’m not saying the Dem proposal is illicit. I’m saying the arguments are not trivial.

        • L.M. says:

          You omitted the next sentence from Duro: “no delegation of authority to a tribe has to date included the power to punish non-members in tribal court. We decline to produce such a result through recognition of inherent tribal authority.”

          In other words, Indian tribes do not have jurisdiction over non-members in the absence of Congressional action, and there had been no Congressional action “to date.” And then, in response to Duro, Congress acted. And now Indian tribal courts have jurisdiction over non-member Indians.

          • Joe says:

            The point holds that the opinion was wary — it was not “perfectly clear” — about the matter.

            And, “non-member Indians” aren’t the issue here. It is a “non-Native American individual.”

            I appreciate the cite to Lara but its reach to “non-Native American individuals” is somewhat unclear.

            • L.M. says:

              The Supreme Court was reluctant to recognize Indian tribal courts inherent jurisdiction over non-members as an inherent feature of tribal sovereignty, in the absence of an act of Congress. This is entirely separate from whether there a constitutional question preventing Congress from acting to enlarge the jurisdiction of Indian tribal courts.

              You asked whether the Supreme Court has had occasion to rule on the constitutionality of 25 U.S.C. § 1301(2). It has, in Lara. That’s why I mention Lara.

              Now, *of course* Lara isn’t about non-Indians, because 25 U.S.C. § 1301(2) isn’t about non-Indians. But there is no reason that Congress cannot do for non-Indians now what it did for non-member Indians in 25 U.S.C § 1301(2).

              You asserted that there was a constitutional question here. There is none.

  8. Patrick says:

    …I agree with the purported rationale of Eric Cantor as I understand it.

    “The two sources say, to Cantor’s credit, his staff has said they’re willing to try to come up with other solutions to responding to violence against women on tribal lands, as long as the solution doesn’t give tribes jurisdiction over the matter. But proponents of the Senate bill see the limited jurisdictional change as the only realistic way to address the problem.”

    What makes this the only realistic option? Refusal to expend funds on this issue? Tribal refusal to cooperate with federal authorities and/or to accept federal jurisdiction?

    I don’t see this as obviously being some kind of red herring argument.

    • Joe says:

      The NYT article cited as I recall was helpful regarding the facts on the ground. You are dealing with isolated areas and a specific class of individuals and to some extent local tribal courts would be realistically the ones able to address immediate concerns akin to local police having at least some authority over local residents.

          • Patrick says:

            But that article attributes the sex offense rate on tribal lands to, in part, inaction and disinterest amongst tribal authorities. And it doesn’t once mention the issue of non tribe members committing sex offenses on tribal lands. So if that’s the article, I fail to see how it supports broadening tribal authority to prosecute non tribal members.

            • Hogan says:

              VAWA also includes more money and training for tribal police and courts, lack of which has been a big part of the problem.

              • Patrick says:

                But that’s not the part that Cantor is opposing. You could give out money and training and not grant tribes prosecutorial authority over non tribe members who work on tribal lands.

        • Anonymous says:

          These reservations are bigger than you think and often sparsely populated. I just googled it; the Yakama reservation here in WA is 2,186 square miles. It would take hours for non-tribal police to get out there and the perp would be long gone by then.

          • STH says:

            Ack! That was me just above.

          • There is a difference between the jurisdictional authority to arrest and detain someone and the jurisdictional authority to try that person. The non-native accused should be subject to Federal jurisdiction, no?

            • Karate Bearfighter says:

              Agreed. I don’t see why the limited jurisdiction of tribal courts would imply any inability of tribal police to investigate crimes.

            • DrDick says:

              The federal government exercises exclusive felony jurisdiction over reservations. Tribal police cannot even arrest non-Indians, though they can detain and hold them for federal officers. Unfortunately, the federal government does not place any priority on policing in Indian country.

      • local tribal courts would be realistically the ones able to address immediate concerns akin to local police having at least some authority over local residents.

        Courts and police are different. Yes, of course you’d want the local police (and prosecutors), with the presumed local expertise and familiarity with the case and context, to hand the case, but it does not follow from that that local courts would do a better job hearing it.

        Maybe the answer here is for the federal government to set up and fund courts in which these cases can be prosecuted, in addition to providing resources for the reservations’ police forces.

    • Left_Wing_Fox says:

      What makes this the only realistic option? Refusal to expend funds on this issue? Tribal refusal to cooperate with federal authorities and/or to accept federal jurisdiction?

      Pretty much. The current political climate makes the first one a non-starter, and vulnerable to partisan politics, while the latter has a very long and very nasty history. I would be much more willing to give Cantor the benefit of the doubt if he had an actual solution in mind, rather than “Not this”.

      • ironic irony says:

        “Tribal refusal to cooperate with federal authorities and/or to accept federal jurisdiction?”

        I was about to point out how this approach hasn’t worked for Native Americans in the past. Thanks for beating me to the punch.

      • DrDick says:

        There has never been any refusal of tribes to cooperate with the feds on these issues. The problem is the failure of the federal government to provide funding to effectively police Indian country. The federal government already has exclusive felony jurisdiction over reservations and does not provide even a small fraction of the resources needed to do that. In consequence, serious crime largely goes unprosecuted on reservations. Tribal courts are limited to sentences of no more than 1 year and fines up to $5000 by federal law. Federal law also denies them jurisdiction over non-Indians and limits jurisdiction over nonmember Indians.

    • Tyto says:

      Frankly, to the extent that Native American tribes are sovereign, the same principle should govern on tribal lands as, say, in Europe: screw up there, and deal with their system.

    • Stan Gable says:

      I wouldn’t assume a red-herring if the arguments were coming from a western legislator. I don’t know much about reservations in Virginia, but this disagreement seems much more relevant for Montana or the Dakotas.

      • Hogan says:

        There are two small ones on tributaries of the York River, 50-60 miles east of Richmond. Close to Cantor’s district, in fact.

        • Stan Gable says:

          Yeah, after I posted that I looked it up and noticed that. The other thing I thought of as a motivation is that one reason the Republican leadership might get involved is if there’s some oddball casino angle involved. Not sure if that’d be more or less cynical.

        • DrDick says:

          Those are actually state, not federal, reservations and currently under state jurisdiction. There are no federal Indian reservations, which is what are affected by this, in Virginia.

      • DrDick says:

        You obviously know nothing about tribal-state relations. I grew up in Oklahoma and live in Montana and the states hate the tribes (who return the sentiment) and have consistently tried to destroy tribal sovereignty. Bear in mind that reservations are legally outside of the states (except as provided under PL-280). In Montana’s constitution, it explicitly excludes the reservations from the state boundaries.

  9. rea says:

    If you don’t want to be subject to tribal courts, stay off the reservation!

    • Michael H Schneider says:

      It’s not easy to stay off the reservation. You can’t go north, south, or west from Albuquerque without finding yourself on Indian land. Driving on I25 from Albuquerque to Santa Fe means going onto at least three reservations. Going west on I40 means going onto at least another three.

      If you stay in any of the hotels in NM that are along the interstate highway and are associated with casinos, you’re on Indian land. If you want to to go to any of the big conerts at the casinos (which have most of the big venues in the state) you’re on Indian land.

      If you’re anywhere in the west central portion of NM you may, or may not be on Indian land: there’s a large checkerboard area where alternating one-mile squares are Indian – and they are not marked. There’s no way to tell without getting out the maps.

      And, frankly, there are problems with all the court systems. The NM courts are far from perfect, the federal courts have their problems, and the tribal courts are a long way from models of blind justice. It’s certainly not obvious to me why a couple, one of whom might (for example) be an enrolled Lumbee, should end up in Isleta tribal court if they get into a fight while staying at the Isleta hotel to see the Kenny G concert.

      It makes a lot of sense for a Navajo in Mexican Hat – but that doesn’t mean it makes sense everywhere.

      • L2P says:

        It’s pretty obvious to me. You’re on Indian land; you should be subject to their jurisdiction.

        Why is that so very different than crossing from Georgia into Florida, or Texas into New Orleans, and being in a different jurisdiction? Or walking into Camp Pendleton and beating somebody up, and finding yourself oddly committing a Federal instead of state crime? Because some tribes are SMALL? Well, some federal land is small. Beat up your wife in a Federal hospital and you’ve committed a federal crime. So what? I don’t see you up in arms about that.

        Seriously, I’m at a loss. Splain. Why is the fact that you’re entering Indian Territory, instead of Federal territory or another state, a huge difference to changing legal jurisdictions?

        • Anon21 says:

          Maybe people are under the mistaken impression that there are a bunch of special “tribal crimes,” like disrespecting your ancestors or failing to live in harmony with nature or something?

          The only real difference is that in tribal court, you can only get a year in jail per offense.

          • DrDick says:

            That is the part of all of this that is so insane. Tribal courts are limited by federal statute to sentences no longer than one year or fines up to $5000. These are hardly draconian punishments.

        • ironic irony says:

          And, it seems to me, that it’s not just about changing jurisdictions, but about the fact that you commit a crime in one jurisdiction and cannot be charged with that crime because you live in another one and are not subject to the original jurisdiction’s laws.

          If I see a pound of weed in New York, and I am a resident of New Jersey and return home, is NJ not allowed to arrest me, return me to NY to face the law there? I realize that tribal lands are not states, but to not come up with a solution to this problem (and sorry, but I don’t look at Cantor and think he’ll compromise), it just seems horrible to me.

        • Michael H Schneider says:

          Why is the fact that you’re entering Indian Territory, instead of Federal territory or another state, a huge difference to changing legal jurisdictions?

          First: Notice. You know when you’re crossing a state boundary, generally, and you certainly know when you’re entering Camp Pendleton.

          The checkerboard, so named because of its patches of land under jumbled ownership, is a jurisdictional nightmare. Parcels of land are owned by the tribe, the state, the Bureau of Land Management and private citizens.

          “The checkerboard area is such a complicated issue that it’s really no man’s land for jurisdiction,” Christesen said. “The tribe has some jurisdiction, we have some jurisdiction, and it’s confusing at the very best. Every section that you hop in and out of is a different jurisdiction.”

          http://www.policeone.com/rural-law-enforcement/articles/3465616-Navajo-town-waits-3-hours-on-average-for-cops/

          It’s impossible to tell when you’re entering Indian jurisdiction.

          Second, differences among native groups. The Navajo nation is not like the Ho-Chunk, and the Alaska native situation is different from either of those.

          The problem for a large native group is very different from the problem of a small native group. Tha Navajo have a large population, and consequently can support their own law enforcement and judicial apparatus. Sandia Pueblo has mebbe 600 people (Wikipedia) and a large resort hotel and casino. I don’t know what they have for a judicial system, although they certainly have cars marked Sandia Police.

          It’s a problem. It’s a problem from a lot of different angles, and it’s a different problem in different areas.

          I don’t know what the right answer is – but I do know that I’m wary of one size fits all answers. I also know that simply saying ‘stay off the reservation if you don’t want to accept tribal jurisdiction’ is a bad answer. If you can’t avoid going on the reservation, and you can’t know when you’re entering the reservation, that’s very hard to do.

          • L2P says:

            “You know when you’re crossing a state boundary, generally, and you certainly know when you’re entering Camp Pendleton.”

            That’s not true. It’s not even CLOSE to true. It’s just bullshit that SOUNDS true.

            It’s only vaguely true on major roads and highways or where rivers and fences divide something. And you MIGHT know if you’re on an base, but you WON’T know if you’re on other federal land.

            And that’s just like tribal lands. If a major highway goes through a tribal land, there’ll be signs saying “Entering xxxx” and “Leaving xxxx.” Just like leaving and entering New Jersey. But if you’re just going on a county road, there probably isn’t.

            You ever driven on a country road between Carolina and Georgia? There’s no “Now Entering Georgia” sign. There’s just red dirt.

            But somehow, no one says that white people in in Georgia shouldn’t be able to enforce their own laws.

          • DrDick says:

            I cannot speak to the checkerboard region, but every other reservation I know of has prominent signs on every road entering the reservation telling you that you have entered the reservation, the same as the states do.

            • Michael H Schneider says:

              … but every other reservation I know of has prominent signs on every road entering the reservation telling you that you have entered the reservation, the same as the states do.

              This is rather a minor point, and of dubious relevance, but this is what I’ve seen: I drove across Sandia Pueblo land on Interstate Highway 25 three times last week, and I don’t recall any signs. I drive across Acoma and Laguna land twice a week in summer on Interstate 40, and there may be a small white sign about 18 inches square – but I’m not sure. There may be a similar sign as you cross all Pueblo lands. There certainly aren’t “prominent” signs. They’re about as prominent as the signs saying which soil conservation district you’re in, and about as meaningful to most people. I’ve stopped for gas at the Route 66 Casino (it’s on Laguna Pueblo land) and I dont recall seeing a sign.

              • DrDick says:

                Which is pretty much the size of the signs on the Montana-Idaho border. Your point is? Even in the absence of signage or knowledge, you are still subject to state law and jurisdiction.

                • Michael H Schneider says:

                  Your point is?

                  Rea said “If you don’t want to be subject to tribal courts, stay off the reservation!”

                  You said “Exactly!”

                  I’ve been trying to say that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to stay off the reservation. If you can’t drive on the Interstates or many of the state highways, it’s difficult. If there’s no way to tell when you’re crossing onto reservation land, it’s impossible.

                  It seems like simple point to me: telling people to “stay off the reservation” is a lousy answer when it’s impossible, or very hard, to follow that advice. Whether it is an equally bad answer when applied to states doesn’t, to me, answer the objection.

          • Anon21 says:

            Sorry, but why should we care about notice? Generally, ignorance of the law is no excuse, so I can’t think of why ignorance of jurisdictional boundaries should be.

            And on a fairness level, we’re talking about prosecuting people for crimes (sexual assault and domestic violence) that are crimes everywhere in the United States. You can’t hit your spouse outside the reservation, and you can’t hit her inside the reservation. Why should we be so very concerned that you didn’t realize you were in a place where the maximum sentence for that offense is lower?

            • Sorry, but why should we care about notice?

              Because the argument offered was <iL2P says:
              December 7, 2012 at 5:02 pm
              It’s pretty obvious to me. You’re on Indian land; you should be subject to their jurisdiction.

              Generally, ignorance of the law is no excuse, so I can’t think of why ignorance of jurisdictional boundaries should be.

              Because that’s not a question of law, but of fact. Ignorance of facts are very commonly relevant in legal cases.

              Take trespass law. People put those “No Trespassing” signs up in the middle of the woods because, for a case to stick, you do have to show that the trespasser knew he was crossing onto your land against your wishes.

              • DrDick says:

                So you are saying that if I drive into Massachusetts on a back road and do not realize that I have entered the state I am not subject to the laws of the state?

                • Closer to the mark would be, I’m saying that “Don’t go into Massachusetts if you don’t like the laws” is not a valid response to a criticism of a law in Massachusetts.

                  The ease with which one can enter Massachusetts without knowing one has crossed the border is only one reason why this is so. It just happened to be the one reason that was relevant to this subthread.

                • DrDick says:

                  Closer to the mark would be, I’m saying that “Don’t go into Massachusetts if you don’t like the laws” is not a valid response to a criticism of a law in Massachusetts.

                  And I am saying that the same is true for Indian reservations.

                • No, you’re not. You’re saying exactly the opposite of that. You are agreeing with the claim to which I am objecting.

                  I don’t think “If you don’t like single-race juries, don’t go there” is a legitimate answer. You do.

                • I think you got turned around in my tangle of multiple negatives. Good Lord, that’s an ugly sentence I wrote.

                • DrDick says:

                  I did misunderstand your original statement. My point is that the fact that you do not like Massachusetts’ laws and/or do not know that you are in the state does not exempt you from prosecution under state laws. The same should be true for reservations. There is simply no significant difference legally between the states and reservations in this regard. Tribes are, under Worchester v. Georgia (which is the foundation of American Indian law), tribes are “domestic dependent sovereigns” with inherent sovereignty, which is not delegated to them by either the US government or the Constitution. This has been reaffirmed, beginning in the 1970s, with the establishment of the doctrine of residual sovereignty, subject to the plenary power of Congress, as held in United States v. Lara.

          • Steve H says:

            One problem with tribal jurisdiction is that the tribal courts are a nightmare. I’ve heard enough stories – from people I find credible – and read a couple of instances, that I just don’t have much faith in tribal court prosecutions to be reliable.

            Of course, I might say the same about Alabama.

            • DrDick says:

              They are mostly a nightmare because non-Indians on the reservations do not bother to learn the tribal laws and judicial procedures. That and the fact they do not like many of the laws.

    • DrDick says:

      Exactly!

  10. TT says:

    Shorter Eric Cantor: “F— the Indians. They don’t vote for us anyway.”

  11. bobbyp says:

    Local control is only for right thinking good white people.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Right to work is now about to be firmly entrenched in the heart of Union Country–Michigan.

    And there’s nothing Loomis and his egghead professors can do about it.

    The Koch Brothers are winning victory after victory in state legislature after state legislature…the days of the Union thug are over

    • calling all toasters says:

      Thanks, the pancakes look delicious, but I’m low-carbing it. Maybe just some bacon.

    • Linnaeus says:

      Keep licking those boots, friend.

    • You don’t understand that Rick Snyder just signed your party’s death warrant, do you?

      • Linnaeus says:

        As a third-generation UAW member and one who grew up in Michigan, I would like to believe that, joe, but I don’t see it.

        I do think that with careful and sustained organizing (yes, that’s a big if, but bear with me) that Snyder and the Michigan GOP can be made to pay a high political price for this. It’ll take time, and there will be setbacks along the way, but this can be made into a crystallizing moment. Snyder’s made his move and the “moderate” mask (which I always knew was a mask) is off. Now it’s time to make sure every Michigan voter knows that.

        • witless chum says:

          Hopefully the Michigan Dems understand that this is the Battle of Armageddon and they better react accordingly. Carl Levin needs to run for governor in 2014 as the most popular Democrat in the state and I don’t give a fuck how old he is. Recalls, strikes, lawsuits, whatever.

          Fucking gerrymandering, though, it’s gonna be tough to reverse even if Snyder gets wiped out. The Republicans have had two cycles of drawing districts to entrench themselves. The Democrats got 300,000 or so more votes in congressional races, for instance, and are outnumbered 9 to 5 on the delegation.

          • Linnaeus says:

            Oh, I have no illusions about how hard this will be. But a start is pointing out how radical the Michigan GOP is. Get the message out repeatedly. Make it clear that Snyder cannot be trusted – he said one thing, then did another virtually overnight with only the thinnest of rationales. It won’t immediately pay off, but it will stick eventually.

    • Speak Truth says:

      Right to work is now about to be firmly entrenched in the heart of Union Country–Michigan.

      I wouldn’t count your chickens just yet.

      The unions and the union mentality of entitlement is powerful in that area of the country. Unions seem to be the only group that think that secret ballot is somehow not true democracy and is unfair method of choosing.

      Anyone that can make themselves believe that is, indeed, powerful and unpredictable.

      • Brutusettu says:

        Weird thing is, secret ballots seem like something unions should like.

        Also weird, that people feel entitled to take away someones job just because they have more fiat magic beans, and then give more of that government issued tender to top execs for “saving” $.

      • Cody says:

        I also share your disgust for people who feel entitled to live decent lives.

        Why don’t they just suck it up and make me rich and powerful?

  13. Anonymous says:

    You may control the Presidency–but we control something far more powerful: the State Legislatures. And thanks to off-year elections and gerrymandering, they will be solidly Republican for DECADES To come motherfuckers.

    • Hogan says:

      I’m sorry, we’re out of the boysenberry syrup.

    • Uncle Kvetch says:

      we control something far more powerful

      What, you’ve cornered the buttermilk market?

    • Murc says:

      The quality of your trolling has fallen to sadly low levels.

      I am kind of disappointed. You can do so much better.

      First of all, you want to wait for a different thread to drop these. The thing about right-to-work in MI, for example, you want to put that in one of the labor threads. Ideally you’d wait for Erik to post on the matter itself, but one of the dead miner threads would also work in terms of scoring the most douchebag points.

      This comment about statehouse control is probably best-suited to a Scott thread, since those are where we usually discuss structural issues.

      But they’re both really, really weak even without being misplaced. Here, I’ll help you out again:

      “Michigan is poised to enact right-to-work, finally breaking the thuggee-like stranglehold the Unions have had on the state for ages. Maybe now it can enjoy the job growth of places like Texas. Of course, I don’t expect liberals to cheer when Detroit begins to revive, because it won’t be happening under their communistic central-planning aegis.”

      That’s how it’s done. Right-wing populism, mindless jingoism, and just a PINCH of racism. If you’re lucky, you draw Mal into trying to refute you using facts and figures, and jerk him around like a fish on the line, constantly moving your goalposts, for ten, twenty comments.

      Honestly. Bring your a-game.

      • Linnaeus says:

        I would immediately know that your proposed statement was fake because of the use of the word “aegis”.

      • heckblazer says:

        I give bonus points for the use of “thuggee” as they were known for strangling their victims. It gives perfect deniability to any cries of racism.

      • You can do so much better.

        I don’t understand why you say this. No, he can’t. When has his trolling ever been better than this?

      • Woodrowfan says:

        I like that in a thread about the Republicans showing once again why they’re the party of old racist white people, the latest troll pops up to gloat about how they also managed to piss off working people even more than they already have. It’s as if this were a thread about vandals breaking windows and he pops up to brag that they also smashed the mail box..

      • Speak Truth says:

        While I don’t think he’s here to discuss the issues much, he does have a point about Texas. It’s a great place to be and has always weathered economic times well.

        I believe the reason is what Anonymous pointed out and that it’s a business-friendly state. Business is where the jobs come from.

        Want Jobs…or not?

        • Cody says:

          Yes, you can tell how these companies are helping people really pull themselves up by their boot straps!

          Really, how can we blame Texas for having one of the highest poverty rates in the nation? We should really just insist the rest of the US follow their example and impoverish more people bring the national average up.

    • rea says:

      Frankly recalling predictions about the Supreme Court health care decision and the presidential election, nothing is more reassuring than to see this guy engaged in this gloating

  14. [...] “Shorter Eric Canton: ‘The Rights of White Men to Sexually Assault Women of Color Shall Not Be …“, Erik Loomis (Asst Prof History, U History), Lawyers Guns and Money, 7 December 2012 [...]

  15. Barry Freed says:

    Damn, 4 years till Cantor comes up for re-election. I wish it was much sooner since 2012 showed that this is such a great issue for Republican troglodytes to take a stand on.

  16. cpinva says:

    unfortunately, rep. cantor well represents his constituents, who are as ugly a group as you might suspect. they figure they got them a smart jew boy representing them, and though they might despise him personally (many do, trust me), they’re willing to overlook that particular “failing”, as long as he continues on his wretched legislative path.

    during the civil war, a portion of va seceded from the state, to remain part of the union. unfortunately, it turns out it was the wrong part of the state, and we still can’t get those people to leave. rep. cantor’s district represents all the worst racist/sexist/redneck stereotypes, compounded by the fundie christianity of liberty “university”, and FOX/limbaugh being #1 in local ratings/ravings. it’s bad enough that even people north/south of them, no slouches in the “bad manners” category themselves, think they’re assholes.

  17. Truth Speak says:

    Leave it to a congressman from the ex-Confederacy, where the white rape of black women has a long and sordid history, to hold up the Violence Against Women Act in order to protect white men from prosecution by tribal courts if they rape a Native American woman.

    I don’t think many rational people would believe this wild statement. It’s dumb on so many levels.

    • Tybalt says:

      Cantor is a Congressman : check

      From the ex-Confederacy : check

      White rape of black women had a long history there : checkity-check-so-very-much-a-check

      Cantor holding up VAWA : Yep. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill reauthorizing it, that Cantor is at the head of trying to hold up.

      To protect white men from prosecution from sexual violence: Yes. Cantor is opposing tribal jurisdiction only, and the concern is non-natives who commit sexual violence.

  18. what a bunch of sleazy bastids.

  19. [...] of black women has a long and sordid history, to hold up the Violence Against Women Act in order to protect white men from prosecution by tribal courts if they rape a Native American woman.”“The genre of westerns, for example leave out Chinese Americans and other API about 99 [...]

  20. [...] the Mainstream Press Bungled the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign (excellent) Shorter Eric Cantor: “The Rights of White Men to Sexually Assault Women of Color Shall Not Be Abri… Police to respond to residents’ concerns over aggressive turkeys Raising the Medicare [...]

  21. Actually, this is a complete misrepresentation of his position and the issue. I doubt that whatever I say will even be considered, but suggest a little more research on the part of those who wish to really understand the truth.

    This is just another example of the left seizing an opportunity to twist a position beyond all recognition and inserting it into the “conservatives bad” narrative.

  22. [...] Shorter Eric Cantor: “The Rights of White Men to Sexually Assault Women of Color Shall Not Be … (lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com) [share]ShareEmailFacebookTwitterTumblrPinterestStumbleUponLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. « [image] “Consider your man card reissued” (ad for gun used in Newtown shootings) [...]

  23. [...] Shorter Eric Cantor: “The Rights of White Men to Sexually Assault Women of Color Shall Not Be … (lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com) [...]

  24. [...]  Just like Eric Cantor, The FRC is more interested in protecting the rights of white men to sexually assault women of color than they are in protecting [...]

  25. [...] Shorter Eric Cantor: “The Rights of White Men to Sexually Assault Women of Color Shall Not Be Abri… Lawyers, Guns & Money (Chuck L) [...]

  26. [...] Shorter Eric Cantor: “The Rights of White Men to Sexually Assault Women of Color Shall Not Be … (lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com) Share:Like this:Like Loading… Tags: criminal justice, criminology, discrimination, feminism, GOP, misogyny, patriarchy, racism, rape, rape culture, sexual violence, sociology, US politics, violence, women's rights, [post type: link] [...]

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