Polygamy rings. Photo credit: Hermin Shutterstock CNA
Washington D.C., Sep 22, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- A polygamous family featured on a reality TV show has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a law intended to combat polygamy, but one attorney doubts their case will prevail.
“Here, the proposed constitutional right to plural marriage is on a potential collision course with the preexisting constitutional and statutory rights of women and children,” Matthew Kacsmaryk, deputy general counsel at First Liberty legal group, told CNA Sept. 20.
Kacsmaryk said the plaintiffs may have difficulty prevailing against arguments that polygamy causes social harm. If the Supreme Court takes the case, it may still cite available data on sexual exploitation and physical abuse in polygamous communities to find a rational basis for Utah’s law.
Kody Brown and his four wives, featured on the television show “Sister Wives,” last week filed an appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the Utah law, which bars cohabitation with other partners when the man is legally married to just one woman.
An appellate court in April ruled that the Browns cannot sue because they were not charged under the law. That ruling overturned a lower court that said the law violated their right to privacy and religious freedom.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a request to reconsider the case, resulting in an appeal to the high court.