Edwin B. Firmage, SJD, serves as a member of the Academy Board of Directors. His particular focus is on Governmental and Inter-Governmental Affairs. He was a professor of constitutional law and international law at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. A Hinckley Fellow at Brigham Young University (BYU), he graduated with high honors in political science and history before earning his Master of Arts. He was National Honors Scholar at the University of Chicago Law School and served on the editorial board of the Chicago Law Review. He received the doctor of law, master of laws, and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees from Chicago.
Dr Firmage served as a White House Fellow on the staff of Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, with responsibility for civil rights. In that capacity, he worked with Roy Wilkins of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and with the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr Firmage served as United Nations Visiting Scholar and attended sessions of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York and the arms control negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland in 1970-71. He later participated in meetings of the Sub-commission on Human Rights of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland in 1999 and presented a speech that began debate on the topic “Toward the Creation of a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence Toward Children, 2000-2010.” Following the Geneva meetings, Dr Firmage enjoyed a personal audience with His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, in Dharamsala, India. He was later invited to participate in extensive meetings with the Tibetan government-in-exile, which included members of the cabinet, legislative leaders of the government, and the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, on matters of constitutional revision and international relations.
Dr Firmage was named Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law by the University of Utah. He was a participant in a Fulbright Seminar in the Soviet Union, traveling throughout the country attending lectures and meetings with Soviet governmental leaders, scholars, and leaders of emerging political parties. He also worked with Vietnamese refugees in Vietnam, Thailand, and Hong Kong and was the recipient of the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence, the highest academic award given by the University of Utah. In addition, he was awarded the Turner-Fairbourn Award for significant contributions to peace and justice.
Dr Firmage was awarded the Charles Redd Prize by the Utah Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, for outstanding contributions in the humanities and social sciences during a consecutive five year period. He was also the recipient of the Governor’s Award in the Humanities, given by the Utah Endowment for the Humanities. He was a visiting professor at Bentham House, University College, University of London were he taught Constitutional Law. He also served as Fellow in Law and Humanities at the Harvard Law School. Dr Firmage received the University of Utah Distinguished Teaching Award and the Brigham Young University Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award.
Also a renowned and esteemed writer, Ed Firmage authored with the late Francis Wormuth, To Chain the Dog of War: The War Power of Congress in History and Law, second edition published in 1989 by University of Illinois Press. His book with Collin Mangrum, Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was the first legal history of the Mormon experience in the nineteenth century. It was awarded the 1989 first place prize of the Alpha Sigma Nu Book Awards for the best book of the year, given by the Honors Society of the National Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities in the United States. Another book, Religion and Law: Biblical, Jewish and Islamic Perspectives, was written with J. Welch and B. Weiss, eds., (Eisenbraun’s 1990).