Edwin B. Firmage
Samuel D. Thurman Professor Emeritus of Law
B.S., Brigham Young University (1960)
M.S., Brigham Young University (1962)
J.D., University of Chicago (1963)
LL.M., University of Chicago (1964)
S.J.D., University of Chicago (1964)
Edwin Brown Firmage is a world-renowned international and constitutional law scholar. He is currently professor emeritus at The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in Salt Lake City. A Hinckley Fellow at Brigham Young University, he graduated with high honors in political science and history. He received a master’s degree in history from Brigham Young University. 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 jurisprudence 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 NAACP and with the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. He also 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 served as Fellow in Law and Humanities at the Harvard Law School in 1974-75. He received the University of Utah Distinguished Teaching Award in 1977 and the Brigham Young University Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award in 1978.
The University of Utah invited Dr. Firmage to deliver the annual Reynolds Lecture, “Ends and Means in Conflict,” in October 1987.
In 1988, Professor 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 the past five years.
Professor Firmage was the recipient of the 1989 Governor’s Award in the Humanities, given by the Utah Endowment for the Humanities.
He delivered the McDougall lecture, “Reconciliation,” at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 7, 1989. With the late Francis Wormuth, he wrote 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.
Professor Firmage’s book with Collin Mangrum, Zion in the Courts: A Legal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the first legal history of the Mormon experience in the nineteenth century, 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.
His book, Religion and Law: Biblical, Jewish and Islamic Perspectives, was written with J. Welch and B. Weiss, eds., (Eisenbraun’s 1990).
Professor Firmage was named Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law by the University of Utah in January 1990.
He was a participant in a Fulbright Seminar in the Soviet Union during the summer of 1990, traveling throughout the country, attending lectures and meetings with Soviet governmental leaders, scholars, and leaders of emerging political parties.
He worked with Vietnamese refugees in Vietnam, Thailand and Hong Kong in 1990 and 1991.
Dr. Firmage was the 1991 recipient of the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence, the highest academic award given by the University of Utah.
In 1991 he was also awarded the Turner-Fairbourn Award for significant contributions to peace and justice.
He delivered the Lane Lecture at Creighton University School of Law, Omaha Nebraska, 1992.
Professor Firmage was a visiting professor August-December, 1992, Bentham House, University College, University of London. He taught Constitutional Law.
In April of 1993, Professor Firmage gave lectures to the justice and peace representatives of the International Congregation of Men and Women Religious in Rome.
Professor Firmage delivered the Kellogg Lectures in May of 1993, entitled “The Human Being: War, Peace and Faith,” at the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Covey Oliver and Edwin B. Firmage, et al., are editors of The International Legal System, Fourth Edition, Foundation Press, New York, Spring, 1995.
Dr. Firmage attended the meetings of the Subcommission on Human Rights of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, during the month of August, 1999. His speech at the Sub-Commission began debate on the topic “Toward the Creation of a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence Toward Children, 2000-2010.”
Following the Geneva meetings Professor Firmage enjoyed a personal audience with His Holiness, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama of Tibet, in Dharamsala, India, and later had extensive meetings with the Tibetan government-in-exile, and including members of the cabinet, legislative leaders of the government, and the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, on matters of constitutional revision and international relations, in September and again in November, 1999.
Professor Firmage teaches constitutional law.