The Law: New York Reforms Divorce

After months of angry debate, the New York legislature last week tossed out the toughest divorce law in the land. An antique drafted by Alexander Hamilton in 1787, it was the only U.S. divorce law that parted spouses solely for adultery, a rule that spawned fraud and collusion on a colossal scale. What finally killed the law, said one legislator, was "a man named John—Pope John." With the reforming spirit of Vatican II blowing strong, New York's Roman Catholic bishops toned down their opposition to change, and the legislators scrambled into action.

As voters watched over TV for the first time, the...

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