SALT LAKE CITY – A federal judge has ruled there’s sufficient evidence to allow a polygamous family made famous by a reality TV show to pursue a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Utah’s bigamy law.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups on Friday dismissed Utah’s governor and attorney general from the case, but allowed the suit to proceed against Utah County Attorney Jeffrey Buhman, the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Buhman threatened to prosecute Kody Brown and his four wives after the TLC show “Sister Wives” debuted in September 2010, but his office has not filed charges.

The family sued Buhman, Gov. Gary Herbert and Attorney General Mark Shurtleff in July 2011, claiming Utah’s bigamy statute violates its constitutional rights to due process, equal protection, free exercise of religion, free speech and freedom of association.

The judge wrote that he dismissed Herbert and Shurtleff from the case because Shurtleff assured the Browns that they wouldn’t be prosecuted. Shurtleff has a policy of not prosecuting consenting adult polygamists as long as they’re not committing other crimes.

 


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.