Senate votes to extend violence act

In National News, News

The Senate voted to extend the power of the Violence Against Women Act by strengthening the power of Native American courts and protecting gay victims of abuse, according to the New York Times.

The Violence Against Women Act was first passed in 1994 to protect women against domestic and sexual abuse by increasing the likelihood that an offender will get prosecuted.

The law was approved in the Senate by a vote of 78-22, but the reauthorization of the law to include Native American courts remains controversial in the House.

The main question of concern in the House is how much power Congress should afford Native American courts. Under the new rendition of the act, tribal courts are allowed to prosecute non-Native Americans who abuse Native women in their land.

Many Republicans see the expansion of the tribal court as unconstitutional because it will deprive non-Native Americans of their fundamental constitutional rights. Social conservatives object the expansion of the act to include domestic abuse cases involving same-sex couples.

However, senior Republican leaders are encouraging their party members to approve the act to prove that both parties can work together towards a single goal.

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