Simons v. Miami Beach First Nat’l Bank, 381 U.S. 81 (1965)

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Author: Justice Black

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Simons v. Miami Beach First Nat’l Bank, 381 U.S. 81 (1965)

MR. JUSTICE BLACK, with whom MR. JUSTICE DOUGLAS joins, concurring.

I agree completely with the Court’s judgment and opinion, and add these few words only in reply to the suggestion of my Brother HARLAN that the Court here is making "a partial retreat from Vanderbilt v. Vanderbilt, 354 U.S. 416." I do not think that today’s decision marks any "retreat" at all from the opinion or holding in Vanderbilt, and I do not understand the Court so to regard it. Vanderbilt held that a wife’s right to support could not be cut off by an ex parte divorce. In the case before us, Mrs. Simons’ Florida dower was not terminated by the ex parte divorce. It simply never came into existence. No one disputes that the ex parte divorce was effective to end the marriage, so that, after it, Mrs. Simons was no longer Mr. Simons’ wife. Florida law, as the Court’s opinion shows, grants dower only to a woman who is the legal wife of the husband when he dies. Mrs. Simons therefore had no property rights cut off by the divorce. She simply had her marriage ended by it, and, for that reason, was not a "widow" within the meaning of the Florida law. Unless this Court were to make the novel declaration that Florida cannot limit dower rights to widows, I see no possible way in which the Vanderbilt case, which dealt with rights which a State did give to divorced wives, could be thought to apply.

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Chicago: Black, "Black, J., Concurring," Simons v. Miami Beach First Nat’l Bank, 381 U.S. 81 (1965) in 381 U.S. 81 381 U.S. 89. Original Sources, accessed February 3, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8MRHMNJBHSHQW14.

MLA: Black. "Black, J., Concurring." Simons v. Miami Beach First Nat’l Bank, 381 U.S. 81 (1965), in 381 U.S. 81, page 381 U.S. 89. Original Sources. 3 Feb. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8MRHMNJBHSHQW14.

Harvard: Black, 'Black, J., Concurring' in Simons v. Miami Beach First Nat’l Bank, 381 U.S. 81 (1965). cited in 1965, 381 U.S. 81, pp.381 U.S. 89. Original Sources, retrieved 3 February 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8MRHMNJBHSHQW14.