The United States Supreme Court will not hear a challenge to polygamy laws brought by the family featured on TLC's "Sister Wives" reality show, the court announced Monday. 

Kody Brown and his four wives — Meri, Janelle, Christine and Robyn — wanted the Supreme Court to review part of Utah's polygamy laws that prohibits a married couple from living with other women. Brown is legally married to only one of his wives, while maintaining "spiritual marriages" to the other three.  

Brown had argued in court that Utah's provision against cohabitation violated citizens' rights to privacy and religious freedom. In December 2013, a U.S. district court judge agreed, ruling that the state's anti-polygamy law was unconstitutional, but an appeals court overturned the ruling in April 2016, deciding that since the Browns had never been charged with a crime under the Utah law, they had no standing to sue. 

The Supreme Court prompted speculation that it would hear the case after it asked Utah's attorney general to file a brief on the matter last year. It would have been the first polygamy case heard by the high court since Reynolds v. United States in 1878, in which the court ruled unanimously that anti-polygamy laws were constitutional, and did not infringe upon the freedom of religion rights of Utah resident and polygamist George Reynolds. Researchers have estimated that there are somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 people, mostly fundamentalist Muslims and Mormons, living in polygamist families in the U.S. 

Polygamy was widely practiced in the early days of the Mormon Church. But the church began disavowing polygamy in 1890. However, some fundamentalist Mormons continue to live in polygamist households, and those families have become increasingly vocal and politically active over the past decade. On Monday, activists in Utah planned a day of action against HB99, a state law that would revise the definition of bigamy and child bigamy — "bigamy" being the legal term for the crime of polygamy.

Opponents of marriage equality have long argued that allowing people of the same sex to marry would start a "slippery slope" that would lead to the legalization of polygamy. In his dissenting opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage, Chief Justice John Roberts noted “it is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage.”