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Published On: Mon, Sep 1st, 2014

Federal Judge: Polygamy law ‘unconstitutional’ after TLC’s ‘Sister Wives’ Kody Brown sues

A federal judge finalized the order striking part of Utah’s bigamy law and gave one more victory to the family from the TLC television show Sister Wives. Kody Brown, and his four wives, have been battling the laws for years and now the battle will go to appeals.

sister-wives-season-4 bannerUtah Attorney General Sean Reyes has said he would appeal the federal court ruling that found the law against polygamy was unconstitutional.

Sister Wives follows the lives of Kody, Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn Brown and their children. Utah County authorities began their investigation of the polygamous family after their show debuted.

Jonathan Turley, the attorney for the Brown family,  encouraged Reyes to reconsider his plan to appeal.

Federal Judge Clark Waddoups in December struck the section of Utah’s bigamy statute that can be applied when someone “cohabits with another person” to whom they are not legally married. Utah law made such a union a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Waddoups said the ban violated the First and 14th amendments to the Constitution.

Waddoups let stand the portion of the statute that prevents someone from having more than one active marriage license.

Brown gave his lawyer a statement to post that read, “While we know that many people do not approve of plural families, it is our family and based on our religious beliefs. Just as we respect the personal and religious choices of other families, we hope that in time all of our neighbors and fellow citizens will come to respect our own choices as part of this wonderful country of different faiths and beliefs.”

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes told ABC News via a statement his office is determining whether to appeal the ruling.

“The attorney general’s office is currently reviewing Judge Waddoups’ ruling of Brown v. Herbert and will make final determination of whether or not to appeal one or more of the issues in the decision within the coming weeks,” the statement read. “It is important to legally assess the ruling’s scope and how it will impact future litigation.”

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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