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After 6 months, no ruling on 'Sister Wives' polygamy lawsuit

Published July 18, 2013 7:38 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Six months ago the world was fairly different.

It was cold. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was a measly 13,596. The Utah Jazz had just beaten the Miami Heat and looked like a playoff team. And "The Lone Ranger" still seemed like a good idea.

But at least one thing hasn't changed: We still don't know what's going to happen in the "Sister Wives" lawsuit.

As of Wednesday, it has been six months since the last hearing in the Brown family's legal challenge to Utah's bigamy statute. In case you don't remember — it has been a long time, after all — the Brown family became famous on the reality show "Sister Wives."

Then, they sued to strike down the statute that makes bigamy a third-degree felony. The last hearing in the case was even pretty lively, for a court proceeding.

Since then, the case has been quiet.

It's all up to federal Judge Clark Waddoups to issue a summary judgment. Such a ruling could hand a victory to one side and essentially end the matter in the lower courts.

Some people, including Joe Darger, speculated last month that Waddoups was waiting to see how the U.S. Supreme Court would rule on a pair of gay marriage issues. But those rulings came and went, and still we're waiting. Attorneys involved in polygamy and the Brown case also suggested the impact of the gay marriage rulings would ultimately be minimal.

Waddoups has good reason to take his time. Whichever way he rules, his decision is all but certain to be appealed. So it's in Waddoups' interest, and the interest of one or both the parties, to write a well-researched, articulate opinion.

In any event, we're anxiously watching the court docket. In the meantime, feel free to click through some of our past coverage so you're up to speed when the ruling (finally!) comes out.

— Jim Dalrymple II

Twitter: @tribunepolygamy