Brown v. Buhman
United States District Court for the District of Utah
947 F. Supp. 2d 1170 (2013)
Kody Brown and his four “Sister Wives” of the eponymous television reality show (plaintiffs) sued county attorney Jeffrey Buhman (defendant), challenging the Utah bigamy statute. Only Kody and his first wife, Meri, were legally married. Kody claimed only religious, not legal, marriage to the other three. The Browns claimed that the cohabitation portion of the law violated their constitutional right to free exercise of religion and substantive due process by prohibiting religious cohabitation but not other types of cohabitation, and they challenged the law as unconstitutionally vague. Buhman claimed that in practice the prosecutor’s office had a policy of not prosecuting religiously motivated or any other cohabitation unless coupled with another crime. Both sides moved for summary judgment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Waddoups, J.)
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