The Beginning and End of Rape by Deer Sarah

The Beginning and End of Rape by Deer Sarah

Author:Deer, Sarah
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: HIS028000 History / Native American, LAW110000 Law / Indigenous Peoples, SOC021000 Social Science / Ethnic Studies / Native American Studies, SOC060000 Social Science / Sexual Abuse & Harassment, SOC028000 Social Science / Women's Studies
ISBN: 9781452945736
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Published: 2015-11-01T04:00:00+00:00

The Politics and Pitfalls of Federal Reform

Engaging with federal legislative reform efforts can be an inherently risky endeavor from a tribal perspective. On a practical level, members of Congress often fail to accurately remedy identified problems, or, worse, enact new anti-sovereignty legislation, which further limits the recognition of tribal authority.

This dynamic became a cogent reality in 2006, when Congress passed the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). Commonly known as the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act,3 the legislation unfortunately ended up pitting tribal sovereignty against mainstream political efforts to require all convicted sex offenders to be tracked in a national database. While sex offender registration and notification laws seem, at first glance, to be benevolent, serious due process concerns have arisen in response to such legislation—and there is no clear evidence that such laws effectively prevent sex crimes. But the tribal connection to SORNA became even more complicated.

The 2006 SORNA legislation raised fundamental concerns about sovereignty because it unilaterally authorized states to exercise civil regulatory authority (to register and track offenders) in Indian country, extending state authority into an unprecedented realm. Tribal leaders were not consulted about the SORNA, and the ignorance of the politicians who championed the law did not recognize the grave long-term implications of this intrusion. Tribal nations affected by PL 280 were particularly affected, as lawyers Virginia Davis and Kevin Washburn explain:


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