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This event on March 3, 2016 featured Mary Kathryn Nagle, a partner at Pipestem Law and a Representative of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC); William Rosen, Counsel, Everytown for Gun Safety; Rupali Sharma, Legal Fellow, Center for Reproductive Rights; and Stephen Wermiel, Professor of Practice in Constitutional Law, American University Washington College of Law. There are currently three big cases before the Supreme Court, but the panel spent the majority of the conversation discussing two in great detail. The first case is Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. In Dollar General, a teenage member of the Mississippi band of Choctaw Indians, who was working at a Dollar General on the tribe’s land, was a victim of a sexual assault by the non-tribal manager of the Dollar General. The Supreme Court has held that tribal governments only have jurisdiction over civil and not criminal issues. The victim’s family filed a civil negligence suit in the tribal district court against the manager of the Dollar General. Dollar General went to federal district court to get an injunction, which was denied. The case soon came to the Fifth Circuit, where Dollar General won. The Supreme Court granted certiorari. Justice Kennedy’s view seems to be that any tribal jurisdiction over non-tribal members is unconstitutional. He is likely to be joined with Justices Thomas and Alito against the tribes. Justices Breyer, Ginsberg, Kagan, and Sotomayor, however, are very strongly on the side of the tribal courts. Justice Roberts’ view is up in the air, so the Court could split 4-4, unless he pushes to narrowly affirm the Fifth Circuit’s ruling. If the Court does rule 4-4, a tie would affirm the Fifth Circuit but not set a precedent. The second case before the Court is Voisine v. United States, which is about domestic violence and guns. The question the Court will be addressing is whether the mens rea, or intention, of recklessness qualifies as a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. Voisine was previously convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence assaults in Maine that were done “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly” which now prevent him from owning a gun. He argues that his prior convictions should not count for federal purposes because a “reckless” assault cannot constitute the “use of physical force” required by federal law. The practical consequences of the decision are enormous. Domestic violence is a huge issue in the United States and access to guns often exacerbates the problem. Keeping guns away from convicted domestic abusers is a great way to reduce gun violence, especially towards women. It seems that Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan and Alito were quick to side against Voisine and Justices Kennedy, Breyer and Roberts also did not question the government too harshly. Another interesting note about this case, Justice Thomas broke his decade of oral argument silence to ask nine questions throughout the proceedings, which may signal a desire to write his own opinion on this case. As we look to a 2016 Supreme Court Term with only eight justices it will be important to note how these rulings affect women across the country. The justices should use their power on the bench to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, regardless of where these events take place. If the opposing parties succeed, women may only receive domestic violence protections under certain conditions.