The Brown family from the hit reality TV show Sister Wives has filed an appeal with the United States Supreme Court to hear their case for legalizing polygamy.
Family patriarch Kody Brown is legally married to Robyn and cohabitates with his other three wives, Meri, Janelle, and Christine. In April an appeals court upheld a unique provision in Utah’s law that restricts this practice. This action overturned a previous decision in which a court ruled the Utah law violated the Brown’s rights to religious freedom and privacy.
Prosecutors in Utah argued that they usually leave polygamist families alone but need the law on the books to be able to pursue polygamists for other crimes such as sexual abuse and underage marriage.
On Monday the Browns filed an appeal with the nation’s highest court in hopes of justice. Family attorney Justin Turley said:
“This has been an extended and difficult struggle for the Brown family but they have never wavered in their commitment to defending the important principles of religious freedom in this case. Utah is a state that was founded by courageous citizens seeking these very protections from government abuse and religious inequality. This lawsuit is true to the original dream of those seeking freedom in Utah.”
According to Yahoo News, there’s an “estimated 38,000 fundamentalist Mormons who practice or believe in polygamy, most living in Utah and other Western states. They believe polygamy brings exaltation in heaven.”
Sister Wives documented the family leaving their Utah home after being investigated. The Browns, who now reside in Las Vegas, have stated that the law causes law-abiding plural families to live under the fear of prosecution. No charges were filed against the Browns.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) September 12, 2016
The Browns have been steadfast in their aim of bringing their own brand of polygamy into the public eye and arguing for their rights to live this way of life. They came under suspicion after the show aired because they brought attention to a subject that Utah would rather keep under wraps.
The appeal is a long shot as the Supreme Court has the freedom to pick and choose which cases they will hear. In recent years this would amount to less than one percent of the 7,500-plus cases appealed annually.