I agree completely with Mark about the grotesque refusal of the House GOP to renew the Violence Against Women Act, and about future Democratic strategy concerning it. But I think that Cantor was being completely honest here.
Southern conservative hostility toward tribal courts goes back aways. Consider the example of Sam Ervin, who nowadays is thought of as a folksy country lawyer doing battle with Richard Nixon, but in his time was a leader of southern segregationism. At the very same time that Ervin was leading a filibuster against the Fair Housing Act, he also sponsored something called the Indian Civil Rights Act, which substantially limited the autonomy of tribal courts (and was itself later significantly watered down by the Supreme Court). In other words, the imposition of federal law on white segregationist state courts was a violation of sovereignty, but the same measure against tribal courts was simply a matter of civil rights.
For Cantor, this is the same thing. White people with jurisdiction over reddish-brown people: good. Reddish-brown people with jurisdiction over white people: bad.
It’s the closest thing that a modern southern conservative can get to reimposing the Black Codes. What else is new?