Cultural Antiquities / Kennewick Man Litigation

A Montgomery McCracken litigator was one of three attorneys representing a team of distinguished scientists who successfully challenged the United States government’s intended disposition of nine thousand year-old human remains in the internationally publicized “Kennewick Man” litigation. The ancient remains – due to be “repatriated” to a coalition of Native American tribes and organizations without scientific study or analysis – were when discovered the most complete skeleton of comparable antiquity ever found in North America. Moreover, the remains are morphologically dissimilar to populations whose ancestors now are referred to as “Native Americans,” raising startling possibilities about the peopling of North America. The case, which has been featured on NOVA (“Mystery of the First Americans”) and the Discovery Channel (“Discover Magazine: The Earliest Immigrants”), is regarded by some as involving a unique, if not controversial, collision among science, culture, religion, politics and the First Amendment. Scientific study of the Kennewick Man remains currently is underway.