A South Dakota state senator had hoped a sensational trial that aired details of a prosecutor’s romance would help him in his decade-long quest to get rid of a state law that allows people to seek financial damages from someone for stealing a spouse.
But the senator’s effort suffered a major setback Tuesday when a legislative committee voted to keep the law, which its supporters argue helps protect marriage by deterring attempts to seduce married people.
The South Dakota law is based on centuries-old British law. State Sen. Stan Adelstein, a Republican from Rapid City, says it treats a spouse as property and that only a half-dozen other states, including Hawaii, still allow such lawsuits.
Adelstein said he will continue to push his measure to repeal the law that allows alienation of affection lawsuits.
"The concept was that women were basically mindless and could be easily carried away by a handsome man or an unhandsome man who was particularly articulate," Adelstein said. "It’s really a ridiculous idea."