Monday, February 28, 2022

Edward Francis McElwain, R.I.P.

Edward Francis McElwain, R.I.P. My late Georgetown University roommate, would have turned 67 today. He was a brilliant, ethical, good and decent man who spoke out for the rights of Native Americans, becoming tribal planner for Havasupai and Hualapai Nations in Arizona. Ed's efforts helped halt uranium mining near Grand Canyon. He gave me the drawerful of his research for Sen. Gary Hart, which helped persuade Congress to kill coal slurry pipeline eminent domain legislation in 1978. On a Spring Break visit to Arizona in 1985, Ed McElwain clued me in on Native Americans being denied public defenders in the Indian Civil Rights. My indignation led to me asking an unanswerable question at a legal services panel at the ABA Law Student Division annual meeting in 1985. It led to me being invited ,as a third year law student, to write "Tribal Rights, Anglo Rights" (Student Lawyer, March 1986), the first civil rights article I ever published in an American Bar Association publication. Ed McElwain, R.I.P.

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