In my humble opinion, the TLOA and SAVE are both necessary statutes. Whether one is for or against these acts or skeptical of where the violence they seek to prevent takes place, no one actually doubts that such rampant violence occurs. The fact that a minority group located predominantly in just one fifth of the nation faces such crime statistics is horrifying and something should be done. Obviously, if the current system were enough then such a high rate of violence and victimization would not be evident. Concerns over sovereignty and jurisdiction haven’t arisen in some farce of a secession plan. Native Nations should be given some credit for knowing the extent to which they can be free of federal control. Instead this redirection and delegation of authority is occurring because the current order simply can’t pull its weight when it comes to crime on tribal land.
While I firmly believe that all offenders should be granted their Constitutional rights, I do not think that allowing tribal courts to try perpetrators of specific crimes is a violation of their rights. Tribal courts are forced by this very legislation to ensure these rights. Perhaps with such acts and laws coming into play criminals of both an Indian and non-Indian persuasion will realize that residing or carrying out crimes on tribal land does not mean a reprieve from punishment. Instead of focusing so intently on the wrongdoers’ rights, maybe we should focus more on the right to a safe and secure environment all citizens deserve. Even if they accomplish nothing else, the TLOA and SAVE make people think about such issues, just as this blog hopes to do.