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No-Fault Divorce Reform in the 1950s: The Lost History of the “Greatest Project” of the National Association of Women Lawyers

  • Laura Oren
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She thanks Katie Robinson, Legislative Program Director and Communications Officer, and Liza Karsai, Executive Director, of the Uniform Law Commission for access to materials about the drafting of the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act; former Associate Director of the University of Houston Law Center Library, Mon Yin Lung, and Emily Lawson and Helen Boyce of the University of Houston Law Library for their many courtesies and assistance. She also thanks Bruce Palmer for his many patient and intelligent readings of the article, and Barbara Atwood and Ann Pinchak for their gracious and helpful comments.

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1. Drachman, Virginia G., “The New Woman Lawyer and the Challenge of Sexual Equality in Early Twentieth-Century America,” Indiana Law Review 28 (1995): 227, 246. After the first issue of the Journal came out, membership in the club began to climb immediately, going from 20 in 1911 to 76 in 2 years and then to 130 by 1914. The name of the group was officially changed to the “National Association of Women Lawyers” in 1913. Ibid.

2. See, for example, Joyce, A. Florence, “How We Started: NAWL History Chapter I,” Women Lawyers Journal 27 (1940–41): 13 (from its inception, NAWL pursued a crusade of publicity for women in the law or otherwise in the public eye, as in suffrage, business, or politics); About NAWL,” Women Lawyers Journal 101 (2016): 5 (stating that the “mission” of NAWL is to advocate for women in the legal profession and to advance the equality of women under the law).

3. See Women Lawyers Journal 1 (1911–12): 1-8 passim. Compare Women Lawyers Journal 33 (Spring 1947): 1104 (Katherine Kilpatrick Makielski, “One Hundred Years of Women in the News,” 15; N. Ruth Wood, “Marriage and Divorce Laws,” 23; Dorothy Kenyon, “United Nations Commission on Status of Women,” 37; Matilda Fenberg, “Jury Service for Women,” 45; Katherine Kempfer, “Our Congresswomen in Action,” 49; Commissioner Caroline K. Simon, “New York State Law Against Discrimination,” 51; B. Fain Tucker, “Legal Problems of Artificial Insemination,” 57; Ruth F. Major, “National Service Life Insurance,” 65; Regene Freund Cohane, “Group Action Among Women,” 72; Evelyn G. DeWitt, “Book Reviews,” 77; Dorothea Blender, “Review of Legal Periodicals,” 78; Grace H. Harte, “Lawyers in the News,” 81; and Daphne Robert, “House of Delegates, American Bar Association,” 87).

4. See, for example, Fenberg, Matilda, “Jury Service for Women,” Women Lawyers Journal 36 (1950): 11 (naming jury service as NAWL's number 1 priority). In 1932, NAWL had tried without success to persuade the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in Commonwealth v. Welosky and rule against the exclusion of women from jury service. “Motion of National Association of Women Lawyers for Leave to File Brief as Amicus Curiae and Brief as Amicus Curiae,” no. 564 (1931), Commonwealth v. Welosky, 276 Mass. 398, 177 N.E. 656 (1931), cert. den. Welosky v. Commonwealth, 284 U.S. 684 (1932), in Welosky v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts U.S. Supreme Court Transcript of Record with Supporting Pleadings by Joseph Bearak, Laura M. Berrien, and Madge Lee Guard. In 1935, NAWL endorsed the so-called “blanket” Equal Rights Amendment. Editorial,” Women Lawyers Journal 22 (1935–36): 38. In 1948, NAWL members testified on behalf of the amendment before Congress. See “Hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution and Commission on the Legal Status of Women, Before Subcomm. No. 1 of the House Comm. On the Judiciary,” 80th Cong., 2d Sess. (1948) (Burnita Shelton Matthews, Chairman, NAWL's Committee on the Legal Status of Women and Rosalie M. Moynahan testifying).

5. Selma Moidel Smith, “A Century of Achievement: The Second 50 Years,” Experience 9 (1998–99): 24, 26.

6. Ibid.

7. Fenberg, Matilda, “Our Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” Women's Law Journal 44 (1958): 12.

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid.

10. Fenberg, Matilda, “Our Uniform Divorce Bill,” Women Lawyers Journal 47 (1961): 1213. On NCCUSL, see Jacob, Herbert, Silent Revolution: The Transformation of Divorce Law in the United States (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), 6263; and History on Uniform State Laws,” Women Lawyers Journal 33 (1947): 36.

11. Fenberg, Matilda, “The Status of the Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” Women Lawyers Journal 43 (1957): 10; Smith, “A Century of Achievement: The Second 50 Years,” 26, see note 5.

12. For the few references to NAWL in the historical literature, see Rupp, Leila J. and Taylor, Verta A., Survival in the Doldrums: The American Women's Rights Movement, 1945 to the 1960s (Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1990), 46 (including NAWL as one of the “pre-existing core” feminist organizations that sustained the women's movement through the so-called “doldrums” years after the achievement of suffrage); Drachman, “The New Woman Lawyer,” 246, see note 1 (describing the special mission of NAWL “to meet the unique professional needs of women lawyers”); Caldwell, Katherine, “Not Ozzie and Harriet: Postwar Divorce and the American Liberal State,” Law & Social Inquiry 23 (1998): 1, 39 (noting NAWL support for the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act); Raggio, Louise B., “Women Lawyers in Family Law,” Family Law Quarterly 33 (1989): 501, 510 (explaining that when the ABA finally agreed to admit NAWL to the House of Delegates after World War II, the organization “got their ‘vote and voyce’” and used it “as a ‘bully pulpit’ to further their programs”); Kolwyck, Clarence, “The Ten Year Struggle for a Section of Family Law,” Family Law Quarterly 3 (1969): 254 (acknowledging the role of NAWL in the creation of the Family Law Section of the ABA).

13. Phillips, Roderick, Putting Asunder: A History of Divorce in Western Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 567. See also, Friedman, Lawrence M., “A Dead Language: Divorce Law and Practice before No-Fault,” Virginia Law Review 86 (2000): 1497, 1511–27 (section titled “Cheating in the Shadow of the Law: The Evolution of the No-Fault Revolution”).

14. Celello, Kristin, Making Marriage Work: A History of Marriage and Divorce in the Twentieth Century United States (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2009), 7; Halem, Lynne Carol, Divorce Reform: Changing Legal and Social Perspectives (New York: Free Press, 1980), 229; see also, DiFonzo, Herbie, Beneath the Fault Line: The Popular and Legal Culture of Divorce in Twentieth Century America (Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia, 1997), 112–35, 167–70.

15. Academics who were key participants in the drafting of California's 1969 statute and the UMDA that was promulgated in 1970 by the NCCUSL have written extensively about those projects. See, for example, articles by co-reporters for UMDA, Kay, Herma Hill, “An Appraisal of California's No Fault Divorce Law,” California Law Review 75 (1987): 291, 299304; and Levy, Robert J., “A Reminiscence about the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act,” Brigham Young University Law Review 1991 (1991): 43, 53. See also, Kay, Herma Hill, “From the Second Sex to the Joint Venture: An Overview of Women's Rights and Family Law in the United States during the Twentieth Century,” California Law Review 88 (2000): 2017, 2050–51. Kay also served on the Governor's Commission that drafted the first version of the California law. See Kay, Herma Hill, “A Family Court: The California Proposal,” California Law Review 56 (1968): 1205.

16. See, for example, Jacob, Silent Revolution, note 10 (detailing a “silent revolution” procured by technocrats working underneath the public radar); Weitzman, Lenore, The Divorce Revolution: The Unexpected Social and Economic Consequences for Women and Children in America (New York: Macmillan, 1985) (arguing that California no-fault reforms had a significantly more adverse impact on the welfare of divorced women and their children than on the welfare of divorced men). But see Fineman, Martha, The Illusion of Equality: The Rhetoric and Reality of Divorce Reform (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 3132 (criticizing the notions that no-fault was either “silent” or a “revolution”).

17. See DiFonzo, Beneath the Fault Line, 5, note 14. He criticizes other historians of divorce for failing to apply insights from the California and English no-fault reforms of the late 1960s to “evaluate the evidence of earlier divorce reforms” in the mid-twentieth century. He read every popular magazine article on divorce published between the end of World War I and the 1950s. Ibid., 7. He writes about the changing status of women and divorce. Ibid., 13–36. He includes an entire chapter on “therapeutic divorce” after World War II. Ibid., 112. But nowhere does he consider the NAWL project.

18. Weiss, Jessica, To Have and to Hold: Marriage, the Baby Boom, and Social Change (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 4.

19. Ibid.

20. See Glick, Paul C., “Family Life and Full Employment,” American Journal of Sociology 54 (1949): 520, 520–21.

21. See Riley, Glenda, Divorce: An American Tradition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991), 159.

22. By 1960, only 27.4% of American women 20–24 years old were single. The divorce rate had slowed, reaching a low point of 8.9 per 1,000 women 15 years of age and older, or 368,000 divorces, in 1958. Weiss, To Have and to Hold, 4, note 18.

23. The fertility rate was 122.9 per 1,000 women compared with only 79.9 per 1,000 in 1940. Ibid.

24. May, Elaine Tyler, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era (New York: Basic Books, 1988), 1. See also May, Elaine Tyler, “Pushing the Limits, 1940–1961,” in No Small Courage: A History of Women in the United States, ed. Cott, Nancy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 492 (“The 1940s and 1950s stand out as a unique twenty-year era of domesticity”).

25. May, Homeward Bound, 13, note 24.

26. Ibid., 17.

27. Ibid., 16.

28. Meyerowitz, Joanne, “Introduction: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945–1960,” in Not June Cleaver: Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1946–1960, ed. Meyerowitz, Joanne (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994), 1.

29. Ibid, 2.

30. Ibid.

31. Ibid., 5

32. Meyerowitz, “Introduction,” 5–10, note 28. The contributors wrote about women's wide-ranging activism in labor unions, peace, civil rights, and civil reforms. Ibid., 6. They explored an expanded definition of feminism and found that domestic ideology was not as all-encompassing as had been said. Ibid., 7–10. They found that rather than constituting an anomalous period or representing a sharp break with pre-war activism, the 1950s served as a bridge to the greater transformations of the 1960s. Ibid., 10.

33. See, for example, Hartmann, Susan, “Foreword,” in Breaking the Wave: Women, their Organizations, and Femimism, 1945–1985, ed. Laughlin, Kathleen A. and Castledine, Jacqueline L. (New York: Routledge, 2011), xixii (“second wave” terminology covers up the foundations of feminism in the 1940s and 1950s “by women in traditional women's organizations, and of women of color, lesbians, religiously oriented women, radical women lawyers, and women who worked across national boundaries”); Laughlin, Kathleen A., Gallagher, Julie, Cobble, Dorothy Sue, Boris, Eileen, Nadasen, Premilla, Gilmore, Stephanie, and Zarnow, Leandra, “Is It Time to Jump Ship? Historians Rethink the Waves Metaphor,” Feminist Formations 22 (Spring 2010): 76135. For an early modification of the doldrums view, see Rupp and Taylor, Survival in the Doldrums, 8, note 12 (arguing that a surviving “elite-sustained” women's rights movement spanned the so-called “doldrums” of the 1950s and kept the movement alive until a broader revival in the 1960s).

34. See, for example, Kathleen A. Laughlin, “Introduction: The Long History of Feminism,” in Breaking the Wave, 3–4; Lynn, Susan, Progressive Women in Conservative Times: Racial Justice, Peace, and Feminism, 1954 to the 1960s (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1993), 3 (post-WWII progressive coalition “played a crucial role as a bridge that linked the prewar progressive work of women reformers with women's activism in the civil rights, antiwar, and feminist movements of the 1960s”); Deslippe, Dennis, “Rights, Not Roses”: Unions and the Rise of Working-Class Feminism, 1945–90 (Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2000) (labor union feminism); Cobble, Dorothy Sue, The Other Women's Movement: Workplace Justice and Social Rights in Modern America (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2004), 27 (recounting the history of a new generation of “labor feminists” who had emerged by the 1940s, whom she calls both the “other labor movement” and “other women's movement”); Landon Storrs, The Second Red Scare and the Unmaking of the New Deal Left (2013) (a study of what she calls left feminists of the New Deal who were systematically purged or silenced by the loyalty oath red scare that began in the 1940s and was formalized in 1947).

35. Susan Hartmann, “Foreword,” 1, note 33 (referring to Hall, Jacqueline Dowd, “The Long Civil Rights Movement and the Political Uses of the Past,” Journal of American History 91 [2005]: 1233–63, at 1234).

36. See Rupp and Taylor, Survival in the Doldrums, 8, note 12.

37. Joyce, “How We Started,” 13, note 2.

38. Drachman, “The New Woman Lawyer,” 245, note 1.

39. Ibid. The New York club was a good example. Women were excluded from the general bar. The women's bar “provided women lawyers with the unique opportunity to come together for social as well as professional interaction.” Ibid., 246. The women lawyer's club affiliated itself to the women's movement by joining the General Federation of Women's Clubs in 1900. Ibid. Women who were excluded from the District of Columbia Bar formed a female association in 1917 that had close ties to suffrage leaders at the cusp of the success of that movement. Ibid.

40. See Women Lawyers Journal 1 (1911–12): 1; and Joyce, “How We Started,” 13, note 1.

41. Drachman, “The New Woman Lawyer,” 246, note 1.

42. Ibid.

43. Ibid.

44. Ibid.

45. Ibid.

46. Ibid., 247.

47. Ibid., 248–50.

48. Joyce, “How We Started,” 13, note 2; see also Smith, Selma Moidel, “A Century of Achievement: The First 50 Years,” Experience 9 (1998–99): 612.

49. Our Aim,” Women Lawyers Journal 1 (1911–12): 1.

50. Ibid.

51. Ibid.

52. Women Lawyers Journal 1 (1911–12): 1– 8 passim.

53. See, for example, Evans, Sara M., Born for Liberty: A History of Women in America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989, 1997), 160 (“women's movement reached the apex of its political power” between 1900 and World War I, achieving new laws for pure food, protective legislation regulating wages and hours for working women and children, prison and court reforms, and the creation in 1912 of a Federal Children's Bureau headed by former Hull House resident Julia Lathrop). For examples of Progressive era women's activism, see also ibid., 139–40 (describing the wave of association building characterized by the formation of women's clubs focused on specific themes and attracting a broad audience), 151–52 (describing black professional and other middle-class women who organized their own clubs and settlement houses, which focused on issues important to their own communities, such as the campaign against lynching), and 148–50 (describing the growth of the settlement house movement and alliance with the women's club movement).

54. See, for example, Mrs. Philip (Fannie H.) Carpenter, Our Choice for President of the General Federation of Womens’ Clubs,” Women Lawyers Journal 2 (1912): 33.

55. See, for example, New York Liquor Laws,” Women Lawyers Journal 1 (1911): 4.

56. See, for example, Widows’ Pensions: Theory and Practice,” Women Lawyers Journal 3 (1914): 33.

57. See, for example, Norris, Jean H., “Women are Compelled to Fight for Rights under 8-Hour Law,” Women Lawyers Journal 3 (1914): 28; The Rev. O'Hara, Edwin V., “Minimum Wage Legislation,” Women Lawyers Journal 4 (1915): 49.

58. See, for example, Johnston-Wood, Harriette M., “Need for Legislation to Refrain the Unfit from Procreating,” Women Lawyers Journal 2 (1912): 41, 47.

59. Woman Lawyer Follows Up Case,” Women Lawyers Journal 3 (1914): 25, 29 (story about a little white child who was locked in jail with two Negro women because of her mother's consorting with a “Negro paramour” from which she was rescued by a “humane” woman lawyer.) See also, O'Neill, William, Everyone Was Brave: A History of Feminism in America (New York: Quadrangle-New York Times Books Co., 1976), 70 (“[A] ‘pact between woman suffrage and white supremacy’ [was] both natural and expedient”).

60. See “Our Aim,” 1, note 49 (stating that “our aim” was to further the cause of women lawyers and of all womankind). See, for example, Women in Office,” Women Lawyers Journal 1 (1911): 17; Women Appointed Commissioners,” Women Lawyers Journal 1 (1911): 8; Judge Hopkins on Women Lawyers,” Women Lawyers Journal 1 (1911): 19.

61. See, for example, Women Lawyers Journal 1 (1911–12): 1724, passim; and the Suffrage Issue,” Women Lawyers Journal 5 (1915–16): 18.

62. See, for example, The Mother-Teacher-Who Knows Her Rights?Women Lawyers Journal 2 (1912): 73, 75.

63. See, for example, Horan, Katherine, “The Citizenship of Women as Affected by Marriage,” Women Lawyers Journal 3 (1914): 25.

64. See, for example, Women Fight Discrimination in Civil Service Appointments,” Women Lawyers Journal 2 (1912): 73, 74.

65. See, for example, Thacker, Florence, “The Married Woman Worker,” Women Lawyers Journal 19 (Winter 1932): 32; and Laughlin, Gail, “Discrimination Against Women Workers,” Women Lawyers Journal 22 (1935–36): 18.

66. See “Motion of National Association of Women Lawyers for Leave to File Brief as Amicus Curiae,” note 4.

67. Some of the earliest opportunities open to women lawyers and as judges in the 1910s and 1920s were in family-related fields such as the juvenile courts established first in Chicago in 1899, and the all-female “women's courts” established in Los Angeles and some other locales. These separate courts were short lived. See Drachman, “The New Woman Lawyer,” 241, note 1.

68. Uniform Divorce Legislation,” Women Lawyers Journal 1 (1911): 5; and Neugass, Minnie, “The Conflict of Laws in Divorce Actions,” Women Lawyers Journal 1 (1911–12): 5, 6.

69. “Uniform Divorce Legislation,” 5, note 68.

70. See, for example, Riley, Divorce: An American Tradition, 62–67, 110–11, note 21 (discussing the development of divorce havens after 1850 and the reactions against them and the work of the New England Divorce Reform League and Samuel W. Dike); see also Hartog, Henrik, Man and Wife in America: A History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000), 264; and Basch, Norma, “The Emerging Legal History of Women in the United States: Property, Divorce, and the Constitution,” Signs 12 (1986): 97, 108.

71. O'Neill, William L., Divorce in the Progressive Era (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1967), 254–55. See also O'Neill, William L., “Divorce in the Progressive Era,” American Quarterly 17 (1965): 203, 206.

72. Phillips, Putting Asunder, 471, note 13.

73. Riley, Divorce: An American Tradition, 115, note 21.

74. Ibid., 115.

75. Ibid., 116. Elizabeth Cady Stanton decried the control of men over marriage and divorce laws. Alice Park, Secretary of the California Equal Suffrage Association asked the governors to appoint otherwise disfranchised women to the convention in light of the importance to them of the subject. Ibid. The results of the conference brought mixed responses from feminists: Elizabeth Cady Stanton was glad that it had failed to cut off the escape valve from oppressive marriages, but other feminist figures had hoped for some measure of uniform law. Ibid., 118. Others thought that the cause of suffrage should be kept separate and apart from any other issue. Ibid.

76. Ibid., 117. Representatives from the disparate states disagreed passionately on how restrictive to make the grounds for divorce. Ibid.

77. The antimigratory proposal provided that if an inhabitant of one state went to another state to obtain a divorce on a ground that was not recognized in his or her own state, the divorce would have no legal effect at home. Phillips, Putting Asunder, 469–70, note 13. It also would have imposed a minimum 2 year residency requirement in order to file for divorce. Blake, Nelson, The Road to Reno (New York: Macmillan, 1962), 141. On the Congress, see also Riley, Divorce: An American Tradition, 115–18, note 21.

78. See Estin, Ann Laquer, “Family Law Federalism: Divorce and the Constitution,” William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal 16 (2007): 381, 391; Blake, The Road to Reno, 145, note 77. Only three states (New Jersey, Delaware, and Wisconsin) endorsed or adopted the model uniform statute. Ibid.

79. Haddock v. Haddock, 201 U.S. 562 (1906). Marital domicile was a principle derived from the common law and its patriarchal model of marital unity, as reflected in Barber v. Barber, 62 U.S. 582 (1858). Barber established that the general rule of the husband's authority to establish the domicile for both parties prevailed unless the husband was guilty of wrongfully abandoning his wife. Haddock v. Haddock, 201 U.S. at 571 (quoting Barber v. Barber).

80. Williams v. North Carolina, 317 U.S. 287 (1942).

81. Neugass, “The Conflict of Laws in Divorce Actions,” 6, note 68.

82. Ibid.

83. Ibid.

84. Ibid.

85. Ibid.

86. Ibid.

87. Ibid.

88. See, for example, Valentine, Josephine S., “Incompatibility as a Ground for Divorce,” Women Lawyers Journal 2 (1912): 49, 5354; New Jersey Divorce Law,” Women Lawyers Journal 2 (1912–13): 73, 78; Wood, N. Ruth, “Marriage and Divorce Laws,” Women Lawyers Journal 33 (1947): 23, 27; and Chronological History of Uniform Marriage and Divorce Law Movement,” Women Lawyers Journal 33 (1947): 3031.

89. Cohn, Felice, “Nevada Divorce Law,” Women Lawyers Journal 12 (1922–23): 16.

90. Ibid., 16.

91. Ibid.

92. Ibid., 17.

93. Ibid.

94. Ibid., 16–17.

95. Gold, Martha R., “The Divorce Situation in the Various States,” Women Lawyers Journal 22 (1935–36): 5.

96. Ibid.

97. Ibid.

98. Ibid.

99. Ibid.

100. For example, Sherrer v. Sherrer, 334 U.S. 343 (1948) (migratory divorce from strict Massachusetts to permissive Florida); Coe v. Coe, 334 U.S. 378 (1948) (migratory divorce from strict Massachusetts to permissive Nevada); and Estin v. Estin, 334 U.S. 541 (1948) (migratory divorce from strict New York to permissive Nevada).

101. Phillips, Putting Asunder, 561, note 13.

102. Ibid., 555. See also Wetzel, James, “American Families, Seventy-Five Years of Change,” Monthly Labor Review 4 (March 1990): 69 (fewer people married and fewer people divorced in the 1930s).

103. Phillips, Putting Asunder, 533, note 13.

104. Ibid., 531.

105. Friedman, “A Dead Language,” 1504, note 13.

106. DiFonzo, Herbie, “Alternatives to Marital Fault: Legislative and Judicial Experiments in Cultural Change,” Idaho Law Review 34 (1997): 1, 2728.

107. Wetzel, “American Families,” 6–9, note 102. See also Phillips, Putting Asunder, 555, note 13.

108. May, Homeward Bound, 59, note 24.

109. Ibid.

110. Glick, “Family Life and Full Employment,” 520–21, note 20.

111. See Celello, Making Marriage Work, 4, note 14, for a table of divorce rate trends, 1900–2000; May, Homeward Bound, 7 (Table 5, Annual Divorce Rate per 1000 Married Women, 1860–2004), note 24.

112. Weiss, To Have and to Hold, 178, note 18; see also Phillips, Putting Asunder, 567, 582, 619, (The annual changes in the divorce rate showed a decline from 1947 to 1958, a steady increase of between 4% and 5% annually from 1959, and increases of between 9% and 12% a year from 1968 to 1972. After 1973, the rate of increase slowed, but the divorce rate still climbed, and only stabilized after 1982.) Note 12.

113. See, for example, Riley, Divorce: An American Tradition, 144–55. (Contemporary “experts” in the first half of the twentieth century cited factors such as American individualism, rising expectations of marriage, increased median income, industrialization, decline in economic functions of the family, weakening of religious tenets, fading social stigma concerning divorce, and changes in women's roles.). Note 21.

114. DiFonzo, Beneath the Fault Line, 1–3, note 14.

115. See, for example, DiFonzo, J. Herbie and Stern, Ruth C., “Addicted to Fault: Why Divorce Reform Has Lagged in New York,” Pace Law Review 27 (2007): 557, 559 (describing New York's unchanged strict grounds and how couples evaded them).

116. Riley, Divorce: An American Tradition, 143–44, note 21.

117. Halem, Divorce Reform, supra note 14, at 234.

118. DiFonzo, Beneath the Fault Line, 9, note 14.

119. Ibid., 1–2. See also Friedman, “A Dead Language,” note 13 (discussing divorce practice in the 1930s and 1940s).

120. Some data indicated that in 1940 there were only 39 African-American women lawyers in the United States, 4,146 white women lawyers, and 172,329 white male lawyers. Drachman, 234, note 1. After the war, the American Bar Association undertook a massive Survey of the Legal Profession. Martindale-Hubbell's Law Directory listed 169,489 lawyers in the United States in 1948. The report estimated there were 2997 women lawyers, a number that because of the shortcomings of the survey method was clearly an undercount. 2997 Women Lawyers,” Women Lawyers Journal 36 (1950): 16. See also Blaustein, Albert P. and Kaplan, Howard S., “America's Women Lawyers and the 1949 Lawyer-Count,” Women Lawyers Journal 37 (1951): 18; and Blender, Dorothea, “The President Reports,” Women Lawyers Journal 39 (1953): 7 (asserting that the figure was “obviously” “far short” and that there were more likely 12,000 women lawyers).

121. Wood, “Marriage and Divorce Laws,” 27–29, note 88.

122. The ABA finally permitted NAWL to become one of its auxiliary legal organizations in 1943. Raggio, “Women Lawyers in Family Law,” 503, note 12.

123. Its conclusion that federal law on marriage and divorce would be unconstitutional led the antidivorce National Congress on Uniform Divorce Laws of 1906 to propose the model law on migratory divorce that the uniform commissioners adopted in 1907 (and later withdrew). Phillips, Putting Asunder, 469, note 13.

124. The proposed amendment stated: “the Congress shall have the power to make laws, which shall be uniform throughout the United States, on marriage and divorce, the legitimation of children, and the care and custody of children affected by divorce.” Blake, The Road to Reno, 149, note 77. There was support for the Capper Amendment from the National Congress of Parent Teachers, the National Federation of Business and Professional Women, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Ibid. But there also was significant conservative opposition. Ibid. Numerous women's groups favored national regulation because they hoped it would offer protection to women and children left unsupported in the event of migratory divorces. But conservative religious groups opposed the amendment because they feared that the result would be to liberalize the divorce laws of strict states. White supremacists also opposed the amendment for fear that it would lead to the approval of interracial marriages. With all the interests opposed, the amendment had no chance of enactment by Congress. Caldwell, “Not Ozzie and Harriet,” 39, note 12.

125. Fenberg, Matilda, “The Uniform Divorce Bill: A Proposed Solution for Our Divorce Muddle,” American Bar Association Journal 41 (1955): 247.

126. Editor's Note,” Women Lawyers Journal 37 (1951): 21. (“There has probably been no bill in recent years excluding the NAWL endorsed Uniform Divorce Bill, which our members have as a whole so heartily approved as this Bill.”)

127. Caldwell, “Not Ozzie and Harriet,” 45, note 12.

128. Ibid., 46.

129. Kolwyck, “The Ten Year Struggle,” 255, note 12.

130. Wood, “Marriage and Divorce Laws,” 27–29, note 88.

131. Ibid., 27.

132. Ibid.

133. Ibid.

134. Ibid., 29.

135. Ibid.

136. Ibid.

137. Ibid., 28.

138. NAWL's leadership has escaped the notice of prominent historians such as J. Herbie DiFonzo. See, DiFonzo, Beneath the Fault Line, 125 (discussing the ABA's Report to the Family Life Conference in May of 1948 without mentioning that NAWL had already begun its project), note 14.

139. Alexander, Paul W., “Family Life Conference Suggest New Judicial Procedures and Attitudes toward Marriage and Divorce,” Journal of the American Judicature Society 32 (1948): 38.

140. Inter-Agency Committee on Background Materials for the National Conference on Life, Family, The American Family: A Factual Background (Washington, DC: Inter-Agency Committee on Background Materials, 1948), ii.

141. Ibid., i.

142. Ibid., 341.

143. The network included most activist women's organizations except for those that were primarily focused on the ERA, such as Alice Paul's NWP. Cobble, The Other Women's Movement, 50–51, note 34. Labor women became the “dominant constituency” of this coalition after the 1930s. Ibid., 105.

144. Ibid., 349.

145. Ibid., 368. There were some grounds exclusively reserved for husbands, “mostly the wife's pregnancy by another man undisclosed at the time of marriage,” and some for wives, “usually the husband's desertion or nonsupport.” Ibid.

146. Ibid.

147. Ibid.

148. Ibid.

149. Kolwyck, “The Ten Year Struggle,” 254, note 12. For the resolution approving the delegation, see Report of the Delegation of the American Bar Association to the National Conference on Family Life,” Annual Report of the American Bar Association 73 (1948): 302, 303.

150. Divorce Laws: Remedies for Abuses and Scandals Are Sought,” American Bar Association Journal 34 (1948): 195. See also Kolwyck, “The Ten Year Struggle,” 254, note 12. Clarence Kolwyck himself was “unwittingly catapulted into the family law movement” after his investigation of a Chattanooga “divorce mill … which rivaled Reno and Mexico” attracted national attention. Ibid., 255.

151. “Divorce Laws: Remedies for Abuses and Scandals Are Sought,” 196, note 150.

152. Ibid., 195.

153. Ibid., 196.

154. Ibid., 195.

155. Ibid., 196. See also Alexander, “Family Life Conference,” note 139 for a more complete version of final report.

156. “Divorce Laws: Remedies for Abuses and Scandals Are Sought,” 196, note 150.

157. Ibid.

158. Ibid.

159. Ibid. See also Alexander, “Family Life Conference,” 38, note 139.

160. Alexander, “Family Life Conference,” 38–47, note 139.

161. DiFonzo, Herbie, “Coercive Conciliation: Judge Paul W. Alexander and the Movement for Therapeutic Divorce,” University of Toledo Law Review 25 (1994): 537–38. See, for example, Alexander, Paul W., “Legal Sciences and the Social Sciences: The Family Court,” Marriage and Family Living 20 (1958): 132–39.

162. Alexander, “Family Life Conference,” 38–47, note 139.

163. Ibid., 41–42.

164. Ibid., 42.

165. Ibid.

166. Ibid., 43.

167. “Divorce Laws: Remedies for Abuses and Scandals Are Sought,” 196–97, note 150.

168. Alexander, “Family Life Conference,” 47, note 126; and Kolwyck, “The Ten Year Struggle,” 257, note 12. The ABA accepted its delegation's report. Report of the Delegation of the American Bar Association to the National Conference on Family Life,” Annual Report of the American Bar Association 73 (1949): 302.

169. Report on Divorce Law Acclaimed at National Conference on Family Law,” American Bar Association Journal 34 (1948): 448–49.

170. “Divorce Laws: Remedies for Abuses and Scandals Are Sought,” 195–96, note 150.

171. Kolwyck, “The Ten Year Struggle,” 257, note 12.

172. The autonomous special commission would have included experts from the fields of law, religion, medicine, psychiatry, psychology, sociology, and education. Report of the Special Committee on Divorce and Marriage Laws and Family Courts,” Annual Report of the American Bar Association 75 (1950): 272.

173. Kolwyck, “The Ten Year Struggle,” 258, note 12.

174. Ibid., 259.

175. See “Report of the Special Committee on Divorce and Marriage Laws and Family Courts,” 272–74 (reporting on the autonomous interprofessional commission of 1950 that comprised more than 100 experts and professionals from the field of law and other professions, including NAWL's N. Ruth Wood); Report of the Special Committee on Divorce and Marriage Laws and Family Courts,” Annual Report of the American Bar Association 76 (1951): 356 (recommending continuation of the ABA's “Special Committee” under receipt of small grant); Report of the Special Committee on Divorce and Marriage Laws and Family Courts,” Annual Report of the American Bar Association 77 (1952): 289 (recommending continuation of committee); Report of the Special Committee on Divorce and Marriage Laws and Family Courts,” Annual Report of the American Bar Association 78 (1953): 302 (recommending continuation of the committee even though work had been stymied because of a lack of funds); Report of the Special Committee on Divorce and Marriage Laws and Family Courts,” Annual Report of the American Bar Association 79 (1954): 324 (recommending continuation of the committee and noting development of incidental functions because of the lack of a family law section in the ABA); Report of the Special Committee on Divorce and Marriage Laws and Family Courts,” Annual Report of the American Bar Association 80 (1955): 319 (recommending that the committee be continued until such time as a family law section is established, and be discontinued thereafter); Report of the Special Committee on Divorce and Marriage Laws and Family Courts,” Annual Report of the American Bar Association 81 (1956): 326 (recommending that the committee be continued until such time as a family law section is established, and be discontinued thereafter); and Report of the Special Committee on Divorce and Marriage Laws and Family Courts,” Annual Report of the American Bar Association 82 (1957): 331 (recommending that if and when the Family Law Section is established, the Committee should be discharged). The ABA approved the establishment of the Family Law Section in 1956, subject to the proviso that a sufficient number of ABA members expressed an interest in the section. Alexander, Paul W., “‘Not the Least Item’: A Section of Family Law,” American Bar Association Journal 42 (1956): 733. HALEM, supra note 14, at 229 credits them with working “to create a model law to rectify the divorce problem” and with at least partially with the establishment of more family and conciliation courts (doesn't mention NAWL).

176. NAWL held lengthy discussions on “suggestions for some provisions of uniform divorce law” at its 1948 annual convention. Wood, N. Ruth, “Principles of a Modern Uniform Divorce Law,” Women Lawyers Journal 34 (1948): 10. Based on these discussions, the proposed principles were sent to NAWL members and to professors of law. In “Principles of a Modern Uniform Divorce Law,” N. Ruth Wood (then-Chair of the NAWL Committee on Marriage and Divorce Law) also drew from articles by Judge Alexander, Reginald Heber Smith, and others who also accepted the new premises, even if they disagreed on some of the details. Ibid.

177. Born in Grajewo, Poland, Matilda Fenberg was a Chicago trial lawyer who briefly practiced with Clarence Darrow. “Matilda Fenberg, Practiced Law with Clarence Darrow,” St. Petersburg Times, October 26, 1977, 12B. She wrote a book on women and jury service and in later years headed the Illinois Committee on the ERA. She was the author of the Illinois uniform divorce bill. Ibid.

178. Fenberg, Matilda, “Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” Women Lawyers Journal 38 (1950): 11.

179. Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” Women Lawyers Journal 38 (1952): 32. See also Fenberg, “The Uniform Divorce Bill,” 248, note 125 (the Matrimonial Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association created a subcommittee that met every week for almost 2 years to revise the original draft presented to them).

180. See Smith, “A Century of Achievement: The Second 50 Years,” 26, note 5. (NAWL's 1947 convention voted to draft and promote a no-fault divorce bill that was prepared by Matilda Fenberg, working with NAWL past–presidents Helen M. Cirese and J. Helen Slough. The bill was approved at the 1952 NAWL convention.) See also Raggio, “Women Lawyers in Family Law,” 511, note 12.

181. Toward Uniform Divorce Laws,” Women Lawyers Journal 38 (1952): 1520 (prefaced by an “Introduction”).

182. Ibid. 17, ′2a (“Whereas” clause).

183. Ibid., 17, ′2b.

184. Ibid., 17, ′2c.

185. “Introduction,” in “Toward Uniform Divorce Laws,” 15–17, note 181. This Introduction was based on the report of Matilda Fenberg, who had chaired NAWL's Uniform Divorce Bill Committee from 1950 through 1952. Ibid., 15.

186. 317 U.S. 287 (1942) (“Williams I”); Williams v. North Carolina, 325 U.S. 226 (1945) (“Williams II”). The couple who divorced in Nevada and remarried each other there were convicted of “bigamous cohabitation” when they came back to North Carolina to live with each other.

187. Williams I, 317 U.S., 304.

188. Ibid., 300.

189. Ibid., 302–3.

190. Williams II, 325 U.S., 239.

191. The somewhat confusing result of this ruling was that each state's conclusion prevailed within its own boundaries. Ibid. In later rulings, the Court distinguished jurisdiction to divide property from domicile for divorce, requiring personal jurisdiction over both parties for the former. Thus, it created what it called the “divisible divorce.” Sherrer v. Sherrer, 34 U.S. 343 (1948) and Coe v. Coe, 334 U.S. 378 (1948) (ruling that migratory divorce decree was entitled to full faith and credit where the defendant appeared in the divorce proceeding); and Estin v. Estin, 334 U.S. 541 (1948) (ruling that New York was not required to give full faith and credit to a Nevada proceeding in which the wife did not appear, creating the divisible divorce).

192. As a general matter, “[t]he fact that a stay in a state is not for long is not necessarily fatal to the existence of a domicil … . [T]he ‘essential fact that raises a change of abode to a change of domicil is the absence of any intention to live elsewhere.’ The intention to stay for a time to which a person ‘did not then contemplate an end’ was held sufficient.” Williams I, 317 U.S., 299.

193. “Introduction,” in “Toward Uniform Divorce Laws,” 18, ′5, note 181.

194. In addition, Section 24 was designed to promote voluntary recognition of decrees by sister states. Enacting states undertook to give full faith and credit to the decrees of sister states. Ibid., 20, 24.

195. Ibid., 15–16. See also Levin, Michael, “Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” Women Lawyers Journal 39 (1953): 34.

196. “Toward Uniform Divorce Laws,” 18, ′9, note 181.

197. Ibid., 17–18, ″7 (Grounds for Divorce) and 3 (Definitions).

198. “Toward Uniform Divorce Laws,” 17–18, ″7 and 3.3–3.09, note 181. Michael Levin (of the Chicago Bar committee that considered Matilda Fenberg's proposal) compared this to “the usual grounds found in most of the states, such as adultery, cruelty, legally adjudicated mental illness.” He explained why the bill contained these grounds: “It was felt necessary and desirable to set up minimum grounds in order to avoid the vesting of absolute discretion in the court in this phase of divorce in order to prevent the possible abuse of this discretion.” Levin, “Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” 4, note 195.

199. “Toward Uniform Divorce Laws,” 18, ′8 (“Divorce, When Granted”), note 181.

200. Ibid., 17–18, ″7 and 3.3–3.09.

201. Ibid., ′2c (recognizing that a decree of divorce “ought” to be granted when the Court “in its sound discretion” finds “that there is no reasonable possibility of reconciliation … and that the welfare of [the husband, wife, and children, if any] will be promoted by the divorce”).

202. See Foster, Henry H. Jr., “Divorce Reform and the Uniform Act,” Family Law Quarterly 7 (1973): 179, 181 (assuming that there are no common-law defenses to divorce in the new bill).

203. Levin, “Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” 3, note 195 (The bill “[was] not as revolutionary as appears at first glance”).

204. Ibid., 3–4 (“It is new chiefly in its attitude and treatment of divorce and in the ‘therapeutic approach’ which has been adopted. Otherwise, the Bill represents a restatement and codification of the best case law and statutory law to be found throughout the forty-eight states.”)

205. Fenberg, “The Uniform Divorce Bill,” 248 (claiming that “the most outstanding feature of this Uniform Divorce Bill is the therapeutic approach which it adopts”), note 125.

206. Compare “Toward Uniform Divorce Laws,” 17, ″12–13, note 181, with a 1950 draft. Sections 12–13 of the final version approved by NAWL provided that “The Court in every case shall seek to effect a conciliation of the parties by private and confidential consultation and conference with the parties. In this effort, the Court, where feasible, shall require the use of its conciliation services, and in its discretion the social agencies available to the Court, before a hearing may be set on the petition.” Section 8 of the 1950 version read as follows: “The court shall, wherever practicable, seek to effect a conciliation of the parties by private and confidential consultation and conference with the parties. The court shall makes its conciliation services available upon the request of the parties, or either of them, and may in its discretion, require the use of its conciliation services before a hearing is set on the petition.” Fenberg, “Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” 12–13, note 178.

207. “Toward Uniform Divorce Laws,” 18, ′12 (“Conciliation Services”), note 181.

208. Ibid.

209. Ibid., 18, ′13 (“Prehearing Conferences”).

210. Ibid.

211. DiFonzo, Beneath the Fault Line, 114, note 14. Lynne Halem traces the earlier origins of a “medical model of a therapeutic court” in the juvenile court movement and its expansion to the family unit in domestic courts. Ibid., 115–17. She argues that “the clinical notion of divorce and the effort to restructure the legal system into a therapeutic forum was still in an embryonic state in the 1920s and 1930s” but that “the attempt to form a workable union between psychiatry and the law continued as the clinical movement picked up momentum in the post-World War II era.” Ibid., 157.

212. Ibid., 114.

213. Ibid.

214. Ibid., 116. Proponents of this extreme view of therapeutic divorce did not favor either living separate and apart or incompatibility as grounds for divorce. Ibid., 118–19.

215. DiFonzo, “Coercive Conciliation,” 8. For the Report to the Family Life Conference and coercive conciliation and links to the Juvenile Court paradigm, see, DiFonzo, Beneath the Fault Line,125–28, note 14.

216. DiFonzo, Beneath the Fault Line, 136, note 14. But see Riley, Divorce: An American Tradition, 162 (the most well-known of these courts, the Los Angeles Children's Court of Conciliation, reported that they reconciled 43% of alienated parents who appeared before them in 1959), note 21.

217. The original proposal for California's no-fault reform of 1969 included a unified family court as a counterbalance to the new liberal marital breakdown standard for divorce. Kay, “A Family Court: The California Proposal,” 1225–26, note 15. The provision was dropped in the legislative process. Jacob, Silent Revolution, 59, note 10.

218. “Toward Uniform Divorce Laws,” 16 (“Introduction”), note 181.

219. Ibid., 15.

220. Ibid.

221. Ibid., 16.

222. Ibid. The ABA delegation to the National Conference on Family Life in 1948 had recommended the establishment of family courts presided over by specialized judges who would be aided by a staff of experts. The Administration of Divorce: A Philadelphia Study,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 101 (1953): 1224–25. See also Chute, Charles L., “Divorce and the Family Court,” Law and Contemporary Problems 18 (1953): 4965 (discussing various specialized courts in different states and the ABA delegation report).

223. “Toward Uniform Divorce Laws,” 16 (“Introduction”), note 181.

224. Ibid.

225. Ibid.

226. Ibid.

227. Fenberg, “Our Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” 12, note 7.

228. “Toward Uniform Divorce Laws,” 13 (“Introduction”), note 181.

229. Matilda Fenberg, “Our Uniform Divorce Bill,” 12 (describing their proposal as “a bill such as had never been drafted before”), note 10.

230. Ibid., 14.

231. Ibid.

232. Ibid.

233. Fenberg, “Our Uniform Divorce Bill,” 14 (bill introduced between 1953 and 1958 in Georgia, Oregon, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Wisconsin, and brought up for discussion in California and some other states), note 10.

234. Fenberg, “The Status of the Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” 10, note 11. See also Fenberg, “Our Uniform Divorce Bill,” 12, note 10.

235. Raggio, “Women Lawyers in Family Law,” 510, note 12.

236. See Munter, Godfrey L., “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate the Advisability of an ABA Section of Family Law,” Women Lawyers Journal 43 (1957): 17. See also Kolwyck, “The Ten Year Struggle,” 262, note 12; Raggio, “Women Lawyers in Family Law,” 510, note 12; Fenberg, “The Status of the Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” 10, note 11; and The Family Law Section Celebrates Its Silver Anniversary,” Family Advocate 6 (1983–84): 3537.

237. Kolwyck, “The Ten Year Struggle,” 262, note 12.

238. Fenberg, “The Status of the Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” 10, note 11.

239. Ibid.

240. Raggio, “Women Lawyers in Family Law,” 510, note 12.

241. Fenberg, “Our Uniform Divorce Bill,” 15, note 10.

242. Kay, “From the Second Sex to the Joint Venture,” 2050–51, note 15. See also Krom, Howard A., “California's Divorce Law Reform: An Historical Analysis,” Pacific Law Journal 1 (1970): 156.

243. See, for example, Infausto, Felix, “1971 Mid-Year Report and Recommendation of the Family Law Section to the ABA House of Delegates on the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act,” Family Law Quarterly 5 (1971): 133203 (recommending that ABA reject the draft in its present form). For conflicting views on the proposal, see Merrill, Maurice H., “Section 305: Genesis and Effect,” South Dakota Law Review 18 (1973): 538, 539; Foster, “Divorce Reform and the Uniform Act,” 185, note 202; and Podell, Ralph J., “The Case For Revision Of The Uniform Marriage And Divorce Act,” South Dakota Law Review 18 (1973): 601, 603–4, 609.

244. Fenberg, “Our Proposed Uniform Divorce Bill,” 12, note 7.

245. Wardle, Lynn D., “No-Fault Divorce and the Divorce Conundrum,” Brigham Young University Law Review 1991 (1991): 79, 8788.

246. A contrasting view holds that although the focus was on the changes in the grounds for divorce, the real revolution occurred in the statutory measures for mandatory division of property between the divorcing spouses. Brett R. Turner, 1 Equitable Distribution of Property, 3D (November 2017 Update), ′1.3.

247. See, for example, Fineman, The Illusion of Equality, 31–32, note 16 (distinguishing Weitzman, The Divorce Revolution, note 16, and Jacob, Silent Revolution, note 10). Fineman argues that the real “revolution” came afterwards with “subsidiary changes in the laws governing the economic relations between divorcing spouses and the rules and standards applied to custody determinations.” Fineman, The Illusion of Equality, 32.

248. Fenberg, “Our Uniform Divorce Bill,” 14, note 10.

249. Caldwell, “Not Ozzie and Harriet,” 2, note 12.

250. Fenberg, “The Uniform Divorce Bill,” 248, note 125.

251. May, “Pushing the Limits, 1940–1961,” 237, note 24; and Weiss, To Have and to Hold, 4, note 18.

252. May, Homeward Bound, 17, note 24.

253. Kolwyck, “The Ten Year Struggle,” 259, note 12.

254. Kay, “A Family Court: The California Proposal,” 1225–26, note 15.

255. Ibid., 1228–30.

256. Jacob, Silent Revolution, 59, note 10; and Kay, “An Appraisal of California's No Fault Divorce Law,” 299, note 15.

257. For the bitter controversy between the Uniform Commissioners and the Family Law Section of the ABA, see Zuckman, Harvey L., “The ABA Family Law Section v. The NCCUSL: Alienation, Separation, and Forced Reconciliation Over the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act,” Catholic University Law Review 24 (1974): 61, 62.

258. Grace Blumberg, Ganz, “Reworking the Past, Imagining the Future: Jacob's Silent Revolution,Law & Social Inquiry 16 (1991): 115, 122; Weitzman, The Divorce Revolution, 19, note 16 (none of judges interviewed had ever denied a petition for divorce); and ibid., 26–28 (no-fault divorce in California required no consent and was unilateral).

259. See, for example, Fines, Barbara Glesner, “Fifty Years of Family Law Practice—the Evolving Role of the Family Law Attorney,” Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 24 (2012): 391, 406; Berman, Debra and Alfini, James, “Lawyer Colonization of Family Mediation: Consequences and Implications,” Marquette Law Review 95 (2012): 887, 889; and Lande, John, “The Revolution In Family Law Dispute Resolution,” Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers 24 (2012): 411, 424.

260. Stanton was the most outspoken of the first feminists in the demand to make divorce more available and on terms more favorable to women. She was unable to gain support at the women's rights convention at Seneca Falls for her proposal to liberalize divorce law. Clark, Elizabeth B., “Matrimonial Bonds: Slavery and Divorce in Nineteenth-Century America,” Law and History Review 8 (1990): 25.

261. See, for example, Marilley, Suzanne M., “Frances Willard and the Feminism of Fear,” Feminist Studies 19 (1993): 123. (Although she was an important supporter of women's suffrage, the leader of the temperance movement Frances Willard was equally adamant in her opposition to liberal divorce laws.)

262. See, for example, Kay, “An Appraisal of California's No Fault Divorce Law,” 293, 299–304, note 15; and Levy, “A Reminiscence about the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act,” 53, note 15.

263. Ziegler, Mary, “An Incomplete Revolution: Feminists and the Legacy of Marital Property Reform,” Michigan Journal of Gender and Law 19 (2013): 259, 271.

264. Ibid.

265. Ibid.

266. Ibid., 272–74.

267. Kay, “From the Second Sex to the Joint Venture,” 2061, note 15. “After the no-fault divorce law was enacted in 1977, [feminists] … continued to work for reform of Wisconsin's common law property system,” and Wisconsin later became the only common law state to adopt the Uniform Marital Property Act. Ibid., 2062.

268. Ibid., 2066.

269. Weitzman, The Divorce Revolution, 26–31, note 16.

270. See, for example, ibid., 323–56 (describing the relative decline of postdivorce income for women and their children as compared with that of their ex-husbands; the impoverishment of women and children; the social consequences of stress, isolation, competence, and health; societal consequences; and a “two-tier society”).

271. See, for example, Peterson, Richard R., “A Re-Evaluation of the Economic Consequences of Divorce,” American Sociological Review 61 (1996): 528, 532; Levy, “A Reminiscence about the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act,” 52, note 15; Garrison, Marsha, “The Economics of Divorce: Changing Rules, Changing Results,” in Divorce Reform at the Crossroads, ed. Sugarman, Stephen D. and Kay, Herma Hill (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1990), 75; Jacob, Herbert, “Another Look at No-Fault Divorce and the Post-Divorce Finances of Women,” Law and Society Review 23 (1989): 95; and Kay, “From the Second Sex to the Joint Venture,” 2066–67 (summarizing criticism and replies), note 15. Weitzman has modified some of her findings and has acknowledged that other factors contributed to the postreform consequences. See Weitzman, Lenore J., “The Economic Consequences of Divorce are Still Unequal: Comment on Peterson,” American Sociological Review 61 (1996): 537, 538. Regardless of the merits of the Weitzman thesis, no-fault divorce does not have the same economic significance for many women who already are living in poverty. See, for example, Roberts, Dorothy E., “Racism and Patriarchy in the Meaning of Motherhood,” American University Journal of Gender and Law 1 (1993): 1, 2324. (The “feminization of poverty” analysis obscures the significance of race in poverty by focusing on the “drastic economic losses white middle-class women and children suffer as a result of divorce,” whereas most black households were poor before divorce and remain poor thereafter.) Perry, Twila L., “Race Matters: Change, Choice, and Family at the Millennium,” Family Law Quarterly 33 (1999): 461, 463–64 (noting that the “downside of no-fault, that it has hurt women economically, clearly has less relevance to the lives of Black women than it does the lives of white women” because black couples typically have less economic wealth to divide).

272. See, for example, “Preface,” in Century of Struggle: The Woman's Rights Movement in the United States, ed. Eleanor Flexner (1973), vii; and O'Neill, Everyone Was Brave: A History of Feminism in America, 264, note 59.

273. Taylor, Verta, “Social Movement Continuity: the Women's Movement in Abeyance,” American Sociological Review 54 (1989): 761.

274. Rupp and Taylor, Survival in the Doldrums, 7–9, note 12.

275. Ibid., 7–9.

276. Ibid., 24–44.

277. Ibid, 46.

278. Ibid., 63–64.

279. See, for example, Kathleen A. Laughlin, Julie Gallagher, Dorothy Sue Cobble, Eileen Boris, Premilla Nadasen, Stephanie Gilmore, and Leandra Zarnow, “Is It Time to Jump Ship?,” note 33.

280. See, for example, Cobble, The Other Women's Movement, 7, note 34; Meyerowitz, “Chapter 1: Introduction: Women and Gender,” in Not June Cleaver, 5–10, note 28: Dorothy Sue Cobble, “Chapter 4: Recapturing Working-class Feminism: Union Women in the Postwar Era,” in Not June Cleaver, 57–83.

281. See, for example, “Civil Feminists: The Politics of the Minnesota Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs, 1942–1965” in Breaking The Wave.

282. Editorial,” Women Lawyers Journal 22 (1935–36): 38.

283. NAWL representatives were prominent among those relatively few women's organizations that testified in favor of the ERA in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. See “Hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution and Commission on the Legal Status of Women, Before Subcomm. No. 1 of the House Comm. On the Judiciary,” 80th Cong., 2d Sess. (1948) (Burnita Shelton Matthews, Chairman, NAWL's Committee on the Legal Status of Women and Rosalie M. Moynahan testified on behalf of NAWL in favor of the ERA). The women lawyers of NAWL did not all take the same position. Illinois members were on record as opposing the ERA and actively worked to defeat it, in part because of its potential to tear down the achievements of “good work of more than half a century” in the form of protective labor laws for women. North East West South,” Women Lawyers Journal 32 (1945): 164–65. Progressive organizations favored the Women's Status Bill instead, as an alternative to the ERA. Franke, Katherine M., “The Central Mistake of Sex Discrimination Law: The Disaggregation of Sex from Gender,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 144 (1995): 1, 1718.

284. See, for example, Women Lawyers Journal 33, No. 1 (1947), which included an article by Matilda Fenberg, later chair of the Uniform Divorce Reform Committee, on “Jury Service for Women”; Ruth Wood's initial article on “Marriage and Divorce Law” published at an early stage of the divorce reform project; an editorial on the Administrative Procedure Act; Dorothy Kenyon on the “United Nations Commission on the Status of Women”; professional news; “Legal Problems of Artificial Insemination”; “Recent Amendments to the National Service Life Insurance Act”; “New York State Law Against Discrimination”; “One Hundred Years of Women in the News”; and a list of NAWL Committees.

285. See, for example, Matilda Fenberg, “Jury Service for Women,” 11 (naming jury service as NAWL's number one priority), note 4. In 1931, along with Alice Paul's National Women's Party NAWL also sought leave to file an amicus brief in an unsuccessful bid to have the Supreme Court review the issue of female jury exclusion. See “Motion of National Association of Women Lawyers for Leave to File Brief As Amicus Curiae and Brief as Amicus Curiae,” note 4. Jury service also was a priority issue for the League of Women Voters, an organization on the other side of the ERA divide. Linda Kerber, No Constitutional Right To Be Ladies (1998), 144.

286. Fenberg, “Jury Service for Women,” 11, note 4.

287. In 1944, NAWL sent her to lobby the Republican National Convention for a plank endorsing the ERA. The President's Page,” Women Lawyers Journal 30 (1944): 20.

288. See, for example, Hughes, Sarah T., “The Half Citizen,” Texas Bar Journal 2 (1939): 99. See also “Motion of National Association of Women Lawyers for Leave to File Brief As Amicus Curiae and Brief as Amicus Curiae,” note 4 (laying out argument based on the similarity of the language of the Nineteenth and Fifteenth Amendments).

289. When the Supreme Court agreed to take up the issue of female jury service exclusion in Hoyt v. Florida, 368 U.S. 57 (1961), the American Civil Liberties Union recruited Kenyon to write their first-ever amicus brief in support of a women's rights issue. “Brief of the Florida Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union, Amici Curiae,” 1961 WL 102288 (Appellate Brief), Hoyt v. Florida, 368 U.S. 57 (1961) (No. 31). The brief made an argument based on Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection jurisprudence, including recent precedents from Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483(1954), and, especially, Hernandez v. Texas, 347 U.S. 475 (1954). Kenyon argued that Hernandez, which involved jury exclusion of Mexican-Americans (who were considered white by law), demonstrated that exclusion of a group “far beyond the limited realms of race or color” could violate equal protection. “Brief of the Florida Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union, Amici Curiae,” 1961 WL 102288 (Appellate Brief) at *11. Although the Hoyt challenge was unsuccessful, Kenyon and prominent black activist Pauli Murray famously used the argument later to defeat the systematic exclusion of black men in practice and the statutory exclusion of women from state juries. White v. Crook, 251 F. Supp. 401 (M.D. Ala. 1966). See Rawalt, Marguerite, “Jury Service for Women––A Constitutional Right within the Fourteenth Amendment,” Women Lawyers Journal 52 (1966): 50 (reporting on White v. Crook). (The lawsuit was filed after the murders of civil rights workers Viola Liuzzo and Jonathan Daniels after the Selma-to-Montgomery march of 1965.) The Supreme Court did not strike down female jury exclusion until the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)’s Women’s Rights Project prevailed in Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522 (1975). Thus, in the person of Dorothy Kenyon, the jury service issue represents an arc of continuity and transition from the old-line feminist organizations such as NAWL to the civil rights and gender activism of the 1960s.

290. Richter, Muriel E., “Lawyers in the News,” Women Lawyers Journal 35 (1949): 25.

291. Smith, Selma Moidel, “The International Committee and NAWL's History of Involvement,” Women Lawyers Journal 97 (2012): 912.

292. For another example of NAWL's big tent, see also Lashley, Miriam, “Membership Drive Going Into High Gear,” Women Lawyers Journal 45 (1959): 12 (reporting on the push for additional NAWL membership in Michigan led by labor law attorney Anne R. Davidow). Davidow practiced law under her maiden name and in partnership with her brother. Their firm was counsel to the Reuther brothers and the newly formed United Auto Workers (UAW.) She was “a self-proclaimed life-long feminist” who represented a class of women excluded from the bartending occupation because of their sex by a postwar “reconversion” statute. Goesaert v. Cleary, 335 U.S. 464 (1948). www.micourthistory.org/women-and-the-law/anne-davidow (April 18, 2014).

293. See Drachman, “The New Woman Lawyer,” 241–42, note 1 (describing how between 1899 and the 1930s, juvenile courts and even “women's courts” around the turn of the nineteenth century gave women lawyers and judges their first professional inroads).

294. See note 120.

295. Drachman, “The New Woman Lawyer,” 245, note 1.

296. For the concentration of women lawyers in domestic relations fields, in the 1950s, see Raggio, “Women Lawyers in Family Law,” 503, 510, note 12 (describing limited opportunities in 1952 when she began to practice law); Taber, Janet, Grant, Marguerite T., Huser, Mary T., Norman, Rise B., Sutton, James R., Wong, Clarence C., Parker, Louise E., and Picard, Claire, “Project Gender, Legal Education and the Legal Profession: An Empirical Study of Stanford Law Students and Graduates,” Stanford Law Review 40 (1988): 1209, 1210–11 (family law practice in 1960 was one of the limited areas of practice open to the few women and ethnic and racial minority attorneys); White, James J., “Women in the Law,” Michigan Law Review 65 (1967): 1051, 1062 (results of his survey show that women predominate in fields of trusts and estates and domestic relations whereas men dominate corporate, real estate, litigation, criminal, and labor fields); and Maiman, Richard J., Mather, Lynn, and McEwen, Craig A., “Gender and Specialization in the Practice of Divorce Law,” Maine Law Review 44 (1992): 39 (survey of Maine and New Hampshire demonstrates that female lawyers devote more of their practice to divorce law than their male counterparts).

297. Raggio, “Women Lawyers in Family Law,” 503, note 12. Raggio recounted her own experience in 1952, when there was “no major firm in Dallas who would hire a woman lawyer.” Ibid., 510.

298. NAWL Committees,” Women Lawyers Journal 33 (1947): 9496.

299. Ibid., 96.

300. Ibid.

301. Raggio, “Women Lawyers in Family Law,” 503, note 12.

302. Ibid.

303. Ibid., 503. See also Smith, “A Century of Achievement: The First 50 Years,” 10, note 48 (“formal recognition of NAWL and women lawyers by the ABA” was “accomplished by NAWL president Marguerite Rawalt in 1943,” entitling it to a seat in the ABA House of Delegates). “For decades, NAWL was the voice for organized women lawyers in the ABA House of Delegates.” Smith, “A Century of Achievement: The Second 50 Years,” 30, note 5. NAWL President Grace B. Doering was the first woman elected to the ABA Assembly. Ibid.

304. Raggio, “Women Lawyers in Family Law,” 510, note 12.

305. Ibid., 512. A charter member of the section, Louise Raggio explained that once the Family Law Section was established “[b]ecause many women lawyers were practicing family law, many Section members were female, but its officers, the Section leadership, except for the office of secretary, were always men.” Ibid. “Neva Talley of Arkansas had been Section secretary for seven years by 1969 and had been the hardest working person in the Section, but the nominating committee would never let her rise to be Chair, because that was “a man's job.” Ibid.

She thanks Katie Robinson, Legislative Program Director and Communications Officer, and Liza Karsai, Executive Director, of the Uniform Law Commission for access to materials about the drafting of the Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act; former Associate Director of the University of Houston Law Center Library, Mon Yin Lung, and Emily Lawson and Helen Boyce of the University of Houston Law Library for their many courtesies and assistance. She also thanks Bruce Palmer for his many patient and intelligent readings of the article, and Barbara Atwood and Ann Pinchak for their gracious and helpful comments.

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Law and History Review
  • ISSN: 0738-2480
  • EISSN: 1939-9022
  • URL: /core/journals/law-and-history-review
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