FOX 13 News
9:45 p.m. MST, February 3, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY— A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a reality TV show polygamist and his wives, challenging Utah's ban on polygamy.
In a ruling released late Friday afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that Kody Brown's lawsuit against the state can proceed. However, he did dismiss Governor Gary Herbert and Attorney General Mark Shurtleff as defendants. Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman remains a defendant.
The Browns' appearance on the TV show "Sister Wives" put them under investigation by Lehi police. Last year, the Browns turned around and sued the state of Utah, challenging the ban on polygamy. The Browns' lawsuit has the potential to decriminalize polygamy in Utah.
So far, Utah County prosecutors have not filed charges, but the Browns insist they live under a cloud of suspicion. They claim they moved to Nevada because of it, but would like to return to Utah.
"We are deeply appreciative of the Court's decision to allow this family to be heard on the constitutionality of this law," the Browns' attorney, Jonathan Turley, said in a posting on his blog Friday night.