Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ehrlichman and the Environment

This upcoming year, I intend to blog periodically about the political players that oversaw the birth of environmental law in the 1970s.  

John Ehrlichman is mainly remembered for his participation in the Watergate break in.  Of course, Watergate was a political scandal of a generation, and landed Ehrlichman in prison after he was forced from the White House.  

While it is rarely a matter of focus, it should be noted that Ehrlichman had a great hand in much of the environmental legislation that was passed during Nixon's time in the White House.  He served as Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs under President, and environmental law found its home in Domestic Affairs.  

While much more could be said about the specific contributions Ehrlichman made, for now, I would just like to make the observation that Nixon's attention to environmental law in many ways can be traced to Ehrlichman's attention to the matter.  While he was a much maligned public figure, some of what he did in the White House could rightly be described as meaningful public service.  

Ehrlichman is a complicated figure.  And, as with most people, a quick inspection of his life often leaves out important details.  

-- Brigham Daniels


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