RH Reality Check, By Kanya D’Almeida, December 4
The Supreme Court on December 7 will hear oral arguments in a case involving a multi-billion dollar company and a Native American minor, who claims he was sexually assaulted by a store manager on Mississippi tribal lands in the summer of 2003.
While the case is ostensibly a challenge to tribes’ ability to adjudicate civil claims involving non-Natives—in this particular instance, a corporation whose store manager is accused of repeated sexual assaults of a then 13-year-old boy—legal experts say it goes to the very heart of tribal sovereignty, established via decades of settled law.
Women’s rights organizations are particularly concerned that a favorable ruling for the company could peel away the last remaining layer of legal protection that enables Native women to seek justice for sexual violence perpetrated by non-members in tribal courts.
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