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A federal judge in Utah handed down a final ruling Wednesday in favor of the polygamist family on the TV show "Sister Wives," who fought to strike down parts of the state’s law that criminalized polygamist cohabitation.
U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled in favor of Kody Brown and his family, the stars of TLC's "Sister Wives," in December, striking down language in Utah’s polygamy law that was deemed unconstitutional because it violated freedom of religion, according to the family’s attorney, Jonathan Turley. The language was previously used to prosecute families like the Browns, who as fundamentalist members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, believe polygamy brings exaltation in heaven.
Waddoups ruled Wednesday that the family was entitled to collect attorneys’ fees and other costs that they accrued when a county prosecutor threatened to charge them in 2011. The family was forced to move to Las Vegas, and hired representation, but it is unclear how much they will collect in the lawsuit. Attorney General Sean Reyes said in a statement Wednesday that his office was reviewing the case and would decide whether or not to appeal portions "within the coming weeks." Brown said in a statement that his family is "committed to fight to preserve" their "victory," adding, "the decision brings closure for our family and further reaffirms the right of all families to be free from government abuse."
— Elisha Fieldstadt