TLC’s Sister Wives is winding down, with TLC cautiously spinning the catfish scandal that has followed Meri Brown all season. Between Meri’s phone canoodling, and Kody spawning his 18th, another serious issue involving the Browns has been largely ignored.
Many have asked for clarification explaining the nature of the ongoing lawsuit involving the Browns. The Browns are currently entrenched in a legal battle against the state of Utah, crusading for the future of polygamy.
As the clip explains, after the reality show revealed the Brown’s plural marriage, they were targeted by the authorities, triggering the Browns’ decision to flee Utah, and settle in Nevada. They then decided to sue, claiming a violation of their first amendment rights, asserting a claimed freedom to live however they choose. Kody notes a violation of their “freedom of expression” and “freedom to love.”
They won the case in late 2013, the first American polygamy ruling in 130 years. U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that key parts of the law which forbid cohabitation with another person violated the First Amendment, which guarantees the freedom of religion. Kody credits the victory for “freeing thousands” of people in Utah, living in secret plural marriages. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes appealed, saying courts have long upheld laws banning polygamy, because they prevent abuse of women and children.
In October of 2015, the Browns suffered a blow when Utah prosecutors argued in a Denver federal appeals court filing, that the state has an interest in keeping polygamy illegal, because of cases like Warren Jeffs. State attorneys added that the sect Jeffs still rules from prison on the Utah-Arizona border is “a community ravaged by untold fraud and other crimes associated with larger polygamous groups.”
“The harms are real,” wrote Parker Douglas, the federal solicitor for the Utah Attorney General’s Office.
Denver’s 10th Circuit Court is expected to hear arguments as early as next year. All About the Tea will continue to follow the case.