State v. Green

In State v. Green, 2004 UT 76, 99 P.3d 820, the court cited "protecting vulnerable individuals from exploitation and abuse" as the third state interest served by the bigamy statute. The court concluded that this was a legitimate state interest to which the criminal bigamy statute was rationally related for purposes of our First Amendment Free Exercise Clause analysis. Id. The court rested this conclusion on the idea that perpetrators of other crimes "not unusually attendant to the practice of polygamy"--such as incest, sexual assault, statutory rape, and failure to pay child support"--could be prosecuted for bigamy in the absence of sufficient evidence to support a conviction on these other charges. Id. 40. Because the federal First Amendment analysis required only rational basis scrutiny, the court was content to rely on assertions in a student law review piece that polygamy was frequently related to other criminal conduct, together with two local cases, including the case of Green himself. Id.