Sunday, September 4, 2011

Judge Strong vs. The Alimony Racket: New York, 1926


FULL TEXT: In an age of grafters, the biggest grafters are American wives and the easiest graft is marriage under American laws.

Such are the conclusions of Judge Selah B. Strong, of the Supreme Court of New York, after a five year study of graft and grafters from the vantage point of the judicial bench. The situation leading to this condition, and which Judge Strong declares threatens the breakdown of ethical and moral restraint, he holds to be a result of laws providing for the payment of alimony as a recompense for “lost love.”

A recent announcement by the Judge that he would refuse alimony in all cases where wives are healthy, able-bodied, childless and capable of supporting themselves, brought down on his head a deluge of criticism from divorce lawyers and beneficiaries of alimony allowances. In a new attack on the alimony evil, however, in the April issue of Hearst’s International Cosmopolitan, in an article “Wives Are Grafters,” Judge Strong goes far beyond his previous declarations and invites far-reaching feminine wrath by asserting that the alimony evil turns wives into parasites, liars, cheats, money grabbers and contributors to immorality on a wholesale scale. The avalanche of criticism which he foresees he is willing to brave, he says, believing that only by such frank and fearless discussion of the situation will the public consciousness be jolted to the point where it will get actively behind a movement for adequate revision of the statutes relating to marriage and divorce.

In reciting a number of cases of which he has knowledge he declares, “the whole business of alimony grabbing is degrading. It cheapens the relations between men and women. I truly believe alimony keeps thousands of couples from being reconciled. The woman being supported by her husband under order of the court isn’t anxious to effect a reconciliation. She is dawling in idleness, free, irresponsible. She’s making him suffer, so she gloats."

[“American Wives Biggest Grafters Says Judge Strong of New York,” syndicated, Laredo Times (Tx.), Apr. 9, 1926, p. 2]

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For more revelations of this suppressed history, see The Alimony Racket: Checklist of Posts

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