Monday, January 28, 2013

Republican Eric Cantor Blocking Anti-Rape Legislation

From the Examiner:

VAWA [Violence Against Women Act], which has been reauthorized consistently for 18 years with little fanfare, was, for the first time, left to expire in Sept. 2011. The sticking point has been new protections for three particularly vulnerable groups: undocumented immigrants, members of the LGBT community and Native Americans.

The additions are supported by Democrats and opposed by House Republicans, who are calling them politically driven. The Senate passed a bipartisan bill in April with the additional protections, and House Republicans passed their own bill in May that omitted those three provisions. Since then, the issue has gone nowhere.
So some House Republicans proposed a measure to fix the problem, by allowing tribal courts to try non-Indians in such cases, while still letting the defendants move the case to a federal court if they felt their rights weren’t being protected.

But [House Majority Leader Eric] Cantor—who’s seen as influential with the conservative wing of the House GOP caucus—is blocking the proposal because he doesn’t want to give added jurisdictions to Indian tribes. And he may end up killing the VAWA re-authorization over the dispute.

In other words, for Cantor, limiting the authority of tribal courts is more important than making sure rapists are prosecuted and women are protected from domestic violence.

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