Polygamy could soon be legal in Utah. Sister Wives star Kody Brown and his three wives are contesting the law against plural wives. Brown and his clan feel that the polygamy ban infringes upon their Constitutional rights.
Kody Brown’s lawyers argued their polygamy case in a federal courtroom on Thursday. Brown is asking the judge to make a summary judgment in the Utah polygamy ban lawsuit, the Salt Lake Tribune notes. A polygamy conviction is a third-degree felony in Utah.
Brown is asking the law be stricken. If the judge rules in the Sister Wives star’s favor, ongoing cases in lower court would likely end. Groups on both sides of the issue promise and appeal if the ruling doesn’t go in their favor.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley represents the Brown family. Kody Brown and his wives are in danger of prosecution in Utah. During the hearing Judge Clark Waddoups discussed the definition of polygamy. Waddoups pondered the difference between polygamy and an unmarried many in relationships with three women.
Assistant Utah Attorney General Jerrold Jensen argued there is a difference. He maintained the polygamists represent themselves to world as married. The prosecutor and the judge reportedly engaged in a heated exchange on the topic. Jensen claims the state has to draw a line somewhere.
Judge Waddoups had this to say in response:
“They have to be rational lines.”
Some polygamy supporters have noted that adultery laws still exist, but no one is prosecuted for such crimes. The Brown lawsuit is not asking the state to recognize plural marriage. Attorneys are citing Lawrence v. Texas as a precedent. The Supreme Court struck down state sodomy laws in the case, the New York Times notes. The court noted that it was unconstitutional to intrude on intimate conduct of consenting adults.
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