Monday, February 12, 2007

Get a Life

I may be writing a seminar paper on a related topic, so I was curious if the FMers had any particular insight on the creation of "Get" laws by the state to accomodate Orthodox Jews. Basically, in Jewish law, a woman cannot get remarried unless her Husband grants her a "get", or a Jewish divorce. Women whose husband's--through neglect or malice--do not obtain a "get" are referred to as "chained," they cannot get remarried, but their husband's are quite free to. The law being proposed in Maryland would mandate that a husband give his wife a Get before being granted a civil divorce.

At the moment, only New York has such a law on its books, and it was upheld against a First Amendment challenge in Avitzur v. Avitzur, 58 N.Y.2d 108; 446 N.E.2d 136; 459 N.Y.S.2d 572 (1983), cert. denied 464 U.S. 817 (1983). But of course, other jurisdictions could disagree.

Any thoughts--constitutionally or pragmatically speaking?

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