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Part I of this Note outlines the VAWA Reactivation Act of 2013, as well as the case law that it seeks partially to abrogate. Part II.A examines the delegation and inherent sovereignty theories more closely, and argues that inherent tribal sovereignty is the superior mechanism for validating the Act. Parts II.B, II.C, and II.D review the basic textual authority that should form the foundation of the Court’s analysis, and conclude that this authority supports recognition of inherent tribal sovereignty. Part III addresses counter arguments to this approach, and argues that, in upholding sections 904 and 905, the Court need not affirm the sweeping doctrine of plenary powers, but rather may validate theses sections under a more limited test of Congress’s role in Indian Country which requires that any congressional action be rationally related to Congress’s unique obligation to the tribes. This Note concludes that, in analyzing the VAWA Reactivation Act of 2013, the Court should uphold the congressional action as a valid expansion of inherent tribal sovereignty while carefully clarifying that this validation does not necessitate an affirmation of the plenary power doctrine, but rather is linked to a more limited approach of congressional power to legislate in Indian Country.


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