Clark Waddoups

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Clark Waddoups
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Court Information:
United States District Court for the District of Utah
Title:   Judge
Position:   Seat #2
Appointed by:   Pres. George W. Bush
Active:   10/21/2008-Present
Preceded by:   Paul Cassell
Past post:   Attorney in private practice
Past term:   1974-2008
Personal History
Born:   1946
Hometown:   Arco, ID
Undergraduate:   Brigham Young University, 1970
Law School:   University of Utah Law, 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 President George W. Bush. Prior to appointment, he was an attorney in private practice in Utah.[1]

Early life and education

Waddoups received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University in 1970 and his J.D. from the University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law in 1973.[1]

Professional career

  • 1981-2008: Attorney in private practice, Salt Lake City
  • 1974-1981: Attorney in private practice, California
  • 1973-1974: Law clerk, Hon. J. Clifford Wallace, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1973-1974[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

Judge finds part of Utah immigration law illegal (2014)

In 2011, Utah state law changed with the passage of House Bill 497, which was signed into law by Governor Gary Herbert. The new law gave police officers the right to check the immigration status of any person they stopped or arrested, as well as the right to arrest a person that they reasonably suspected of being in the United States illegally. The law was challenged in federal court and, on June 18, 2014, Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that the police may check the immigration status of a person they legally stop for another reason, but they cannot arrest someone on suspicion of being an illegal alien.

There are limits, however, to being able to check an individual’s immigration status. They police cannot hold that person longer than what is normal in order to obtain immigration information. Nor is it kosher for the police to arrest a person only for being in the country illegally, as the law provided.


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 was 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


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