Obama signs expanded Violence Against Women Act

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Thursday, March 07, 2013

The Washington Post: President Obama signed into law an expanded Violence Against Women Act. It provides more anti-domestic violence resources to gays and more authority to American Indian courts.

The law strengthens criminal justice statutes for crimes against women. Congress easily renewed the law twice since 1994, but it lapsed in 2011 when Republicans wouldn’t agree to some of the new provisions Democrats wanted to add. Republicans held up a Senate-passed version that required states to include gays in federally funded or supported programs, and gave a legal status to illegal-immigrant domestic-violence victims.

The final version also allows tribal courts to prosecute non-Indians who attack their Native American partners on tribal lands. The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that tribes don’t have criminal authority over non-Indians, even if the crime is committed on Indian land.

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