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Last Steps for Polygamy Heading to Supreme Court in 2017

Date: Aug 10, 2016
Word Count: 500 words
Cross-Reference: Sister Wives, Supreme Court, Brown v. Buhman

In the Sister Wives polygamy case, plaintiffs given until September 10, 2016, to petition Supreme Court to hear Brown v. Buhman in Spring, 2017.

In the "Sister Wives" polygamy case, plaintiffs given until September 10, 2016, to petition Supreme Court to hear Brown v. Buhman in Spring, 2017. 

As   of   August   10,   2016,   unrelated   consenting   adult   polygamy   (UCAP)   was   still   on   track   to   be   heard   by   the   Supreme   Court   of   the   United   States   (SCOTUS)   in   the   Spring   of   2017.      
For   background,   on   April   11,   2016,   the   Tenth   Circuit   Court   of   Appeals   in   Denver,   Colorado,   had   vacated   the   previously   favorable   ("Sister   Wives")   Brown   v.   Buhman   decision   (of   2013).   The   Tenth   Circuit   Court   determined   that   the   Brown   family’s   "legal   standing"   had   become   moot   when   the   prosecutor   had   stated   they   would   not   pursue   the   Brown   family   "for   polygamy"   -   even   though   the   out-dated   law   remains   on   the   books. 
As   National   Polygamy   Advocate   ™,   Mark   Henkel,   told   FOX   News,   "It   was   not   reversed   on   the   merits   of   any   arguments   whatsoever.   They   refused   to   hear   any   arguments   at   all." 
The   Brown   family   formally   asked   for   a   re-hearing   by   all   of   the   judges   in   the   entire   Tenth   Circuit   Court   of   Appeals.     On   Friday   the   13th   of   May,   2016,   the   Tenth   Circuit   denied   that   "en   banc"   request. 
In   an   email   to   FOX   13   in   Salt   Lake   City,   Utah,   the   attorney   for   the   Browns,   Jonathan   Turley,   decried   the   reversal:   "At   issue   is   the   most   basic   right   in   our   legal   system:   the   right   to   be   heard   in   a   federal   court.     The   lower   court   found   that   the   Browns   left   the   state   after   months   of   abusive   treatment   by   the   government,   which   denied   them   basic   protections   under   our   Constitution.     All   families   should   have   access   to   the   courts   when   targeted   by   the   government   in   this   way." 
Consequently,   with   that   denial   from   the   appeals   court,   Brown   v.   Buhman   may   now   head   to   the   court   of   last   resort,   SCOTUS.     For   that   to   happen,   the   Brown   family   must   file   a   "Writ   of   Certiorari."     The   official   website,,   explains   this   procedure,   as   follows. 
"Parties   who   are   not   satisfied   with   the   decision   of   a   lower   court   must   petition   the   U.S.   Supreme   Court   to   hear   their   case.   The   primary   means   to   petition   the   court   for   review   is   to   ask   it   to   grant   a   writ   of   certiorari.   This   is   a   request   that   the   Supreme   Court   order   a   lower   court   to   send   up   the   record   of   the   case   for   review.   The   Court   usually   is   not   under   any   obligation   to   hear   these   cases,   and   it   usually   only   does   so   if   the   case   could   have   national   significance,   might   harmonize   conflicting   decisions   in   the   federal   Circuit   courts,   and/or   could   have   precedential   value.   In   fact,   the   Court   accepts   100-150   of   the   more   than   7,000   cases   that   it   is   asked   to   review   each   year." 
The   Brown   family   filed   for   an   extension   of   time.     On   August   3,   2016,   Justice   Sotomayor   of   SCOTUS   approved   the   extension   of   time   to   file   such   a   Writ   of   Certiorari   by   September   10,   2016. 
After   the   Browns   formally   file   that   petition   prior   to   that   deadline   next   month,   the   subsequent   step   will   be   an   official   "yay   or   nay"   as   to   whether   SCOTUS   is   willing   to   hear   the   case.     The   extension   itself   seems   to   suggest   that   that   willingness   is   likely. 
If   so,   polygamy   will   thereafter   be   officially   headed   to   the   Supreme   Court   in   2017. 


Bibliographic URLs:

FOX NEWS: "Sister Wives" to petition U.S. Supreme Court to recognize plural marriage 
* BREAKING NEWS * 10th Circuit Reverses "Sister Wives" case 
Mark Henkel on FOX 10 Phoenix - 5-24-2016 - Polygamy 
10th Circuit Refuses to Re-hear "Sister Wives" case 
Jonathan Turley's email to FOX 13 site explains "Writs of Certiorari" 
Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor extended to September 10, 2016 
FOX 13: "Sister Wives" planning polygamy petition to U.S. Supreme Court 
[Reviewed for publication - Review Board.]

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