The Definition of Bigamy

If you want to read a terrible judicial opinion. try to plow through Judge Clark Waddoups decision assessing the constitutionality of Utah’s law defining bigamy.  The actual issue in the case is not trivial.  Utah has a statute prohibiting polygamy that defines the practice to include a married person who knowingly cohabitates (in a sexual way) with another.  In other words, you don’t have to be legally married to more than one person to be guilty of bigamy.  That’s certainly odd and might be unconstitutional, though I’d want to think about that more carefully.

But oh what a journey you must take to understand the Court’s conclusion.  (And you thought The Hobbit movies were long and tedious).  I would give you a summary, but some disasters just speak for themselves.

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3 Responses

  1. cong ty luat says:

    I think it is useful with me 🙂

  2. Joe says:

    The “purports” language is also an issue.

    Yes. I do think the law troubling and worthy of a good opinion. Many the appeals court will manage to provide it.

    The table of contents and subject headings does help one trudge thru things. Volokh Conspiracy has a few posts on the subject for those interested.

  3. Kaimi says:

    It’s a — yeah, it’s a long opinion. Loooong.

    For more on the fascinating historical background of the law in question, see the earlier CoOp discussion at