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Utah governor vows to review judge's polygamy ruling

  • Sister Wives Bigamy_Cham640.jpg

    FILE - In this undated file photo provided by TLC, Kody Brown, center, poses with his wives, from left, Janelle, Christine, Meri, and Robyn in a promotional photo for TLC's reality TV show, "Sister Wives." Advocacy groups for polygamy and individual liberties on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, hailed a federal judge's ruling that key parts of Utah's polygamy laws are unconstitutional, saying it will remove the threat of arrest for those families. (AP Photo/TLC)

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    FILE: Utah Governor Gary HerbertAP

Gov. Gary Herbert has expressed concern over a federal judge's ruling that struck down key parts of Utah's polygamy laws, saying his legal counsel would determine the ramifications of the decision.

Herbert says while he had not had a chance to review U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups' ruling, he's "always a little concerned" when public policy changes are made by the courts.

The Republican governor told The Salt Lake Tribune he would "much rather see decisions on social issues" made by the Legislature, but he still needs "to understand the arguments and logic" that went into the ruling.

Waddoups, a nominee of President George W. Bush, said in his decision handed down Friday that a provision in Utah law forbidding cohabitation with another person violated the First Amendment.

The ruling was a victory for Kody Brown and his four wives who star in the hit TLC reality show "Sister Wives." The Brown family sued over Utah's bigamy laws in July 2011 and fled Utah for Las Vegas last year under the threat of prosecution.

Polygamy supporters have hailed the judge's ruling, saying it decriminalizes the practice in Utah.