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Ogden distillery threatens lawsuit over 'Five Wives Vodka' ban

OGDEN (ABC 4 News) - Ogden's Own Distillery plans to sue Idaho if the state doesn't reverse its decision not to allow the sale of 'Five Wives Vodka'.
OGDEN (ABC 4 News) - Ogden's Own Distillery plans to sue Idaho if the state doesn't reverse its decision not to allow the sale of 'Five Wives Vodka'.

George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley informs Idaho officials in a letter that he will sue on behalf of the producer of Five Wives Vodka.  Turley, who represented the Brown family featured in the TLC program "Sister Wives", says the ban is unconstitutional and he gives the state 10 days to reverse its position.

"Idaho is the only state to raise religious and social sensibilities as a basis to deny entry to this product," Turley wrote in his letter.  "We have a court system designed to protect citizens and companies from arbitrary and abusive governmental actions."

To read Turley's entire notice of intent to sue, CLICK HERE.

Idaho State Liquor Division director Jeff Anderson told the Associated Press last month that the brand is offensive to women and Mormons.

“The bottom line is, we represent everybody,” Anderson said. “It’s masterful marketing on their part. But it doesn’t play here.”

'Five Wives Vodka' is currently sold in Utah, where the Mormon church is based, and in Wyoming. 

"We believe that the state of Idaho is in gross violation of 1st amendment when it comes to commercial speech," Steve Conlin, Ogden's Own VP of Marketing, told ABC4.  "Our goal is not to offend people.  We find our label kind of classic in its style.  Vodka is a very cluttered category and you've got to be a little edgy to cut through it."

Mormons make up more than a quarter of Idaho's population.

ABC4 will have much more on this story tonight at 6.
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