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Clark Waddoups

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Clark Waddoups
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Current Court Information:
United States District Court for the District of Utah
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #2
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   10/21/2008 - Present
Preceded by:   Paul Cassell
Personal History
Born:   1946
Hometown:   Arco, ID
Undergraduate:   Brigham Young U., 1970
Law School:   University of Utah Law, J.D., 1973
Clark Waddoups (b.1946) is a judge for the United States District Court for the District of Utah. He joined the court in 2008 after an appointment by George W. Bush. Prior to appointment, he was a private practice attorney in Utah.[1]

Early life and education

  • Brigham Young University, B.A., 1970
  • University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, J.D., 1973[1]

Professional career

  • Law clerk, Hon. J. Clifford Wallace, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1973-1974
  • Private practice, California, 1974-1981
  • Private practice, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1981-2008[1]

Judicial career

District of Utah

Waddoups was nominated to the District of Utah by President George W. Bush on April 29, 2008, to a seat vacated by Paul Cassell. Waddoups was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 26, 2008, and received commission on October 21, 2008.

Notable cases

Utah's polygamy law ruled unconstitutional in "Sister Wives" case (2013)

     United States District Court for the District of Utah (Brown, et al v. Buhman, et al, 2:11-cv-0652-CW)

On December 13, 2013, Judge Waddoups struck down critical elements of Utah's polygamy law as unconstitutional, essentially decriminalizing the practice. In the case at hand, stars of the TV show "Sister Wives" brought suit on July 13, 2011, claiming that state was unconstitutionally infringing upon the polygamous family's right to due process, equal protection, free exercise of religion, free speech, and freedom of association. The state filed a motion to dismiss, and on August 17, 2012, Waddoups denied that motion. Following a hearing in January 2013, Waddoups announced his decision nearly one year later in a 91-page ruling. In that ruling, Waddoups declared that the wording of the state's polygamy statute -- specifically, the phrase "or cohabits with another person" -- served as a violation of the plaintiffs' constitutional rights. The Waddoups ruling leaves the state's bigamy statute intact in theory, criminalizing only the fraudulent acquisition of multiple marriage licenses. The Utah Attorney General's office is expected to appeal the ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and on December 26, 2013, Sean Reyes, the state's incoming Attorney General, confirmed that it remained his intention to file an appeal.[2][3][4][5][6]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Paul Cassell
District of Utah
Seat #2
Succeeded by: