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Constitutional Law Keyed to Barnett
Reynolds v. United States
Citation:98 U.S. 145 (1878)
Defendant George Reynolds entered into a second marriage after already married, violating a law prohibiting bigamy. At the time of his second marriage, the Defendant was a member of the Church of Latter-day Saints, commonly called the Mormon Church. It was accepted doctrine within the church at the time that “it was the duty of male members of [the church] to practice polygamy; . . . and that failing or refusing to practice polygamy by such male members of said church, when circumstances would admit, would be punished.” The Defendant had received permission from within the church to enter into a polygamous marriage.
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