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How the right will demagogue the Violence Against Women Act

Though the Senate is expected to pass the Violence Against Women Act after deliberating on it today, its grim purgatory is far from over. It still has to pass the recalcitrant House. But in both chambers, some Republicans have issued a series of complaints to explain their no-votes, all of which sound better, at least on the surface, than being for violence against women Here's a primer to the main objections -- and what they really mean.

The tribal court provisions. Currently, non-Native men who abuse Native American women on reservations can — and do — get away with it, since federal prosecutors can’t and don’t prosecute all such cases. The expanded VAWA would give tribal courts jurisdiction, something that has met with remarkably vehement opposition by some Republicans, who seem to fear that the mostly white men it would affect would have their rights violated. Notably, not all Republicans: congressmen Tom Cole and Darrell Issa have proposed a compromise that would allow those men to appeal to the feds if they objected to their treatment by the tribal courts, and Cole met with Eric Cantor about it yesterday.

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