Sen. Charles Grassley is trying to explain his vote against the Violence Against Women Act and inventing new and fascinating arguments. Like if a white man was accused of assaulting a Native American woman, he might get tried by a jury of Native Americans — and that would be terribly unfair.
GRASSLEY: One provision that non-Native Americans can be tried in tribal court. And why is that a big thing? Because of the constitutionality of it, for two reasons. One, you know how the law is, that if you have a jury, the jury is supposed to be a reflection of society. [...] So you get non-Indians, let me say to make it easy, you get non-Indians going into a reservation and violating a woman. They need to be prosecuted. They aren’t prosecuted. So the idea behind [VAWA] is we’ll try them in tribal court. But under the laws of our land, you got to have a jury that is a reflection of society as a whole, and on an Indian reservation, it’s going to be made up of Indians, right? So the non-Indian doesn’t get a fair trial.
I bet if you suggested that an all-white jury would be unfair to a black defendant accused of a crime against a white woman wouldn’t be fair because white people can’t give a fair trial, Grassley would accuse you of race-baiting and being a bleeding heart liberal.
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