October 5, 2018

From an early age, Adi Dynar understood the havoc that could be wrought by an overly bureaucratic government system.

Growing up in India, it was easy to see first-hand the moral bankruptcy and impracticality of socialism and communism,” he says. “Given the pervasive system of life-crippling rules and regulations imposed in such a system, I became interested at an early age in figuring out how the law works and thinking about broader political, philosophical principles.”

After working in finance, he came to the United States to study law: “I wanted to study the American legal system of constitutional supremacy—which puts in place important checks and balances to ensure there are no runaway legislatures eager to infringe on the inalienable individual right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

It was in a second-semester constitutional law class that Adi first heard about the Goldwater Institute’s work. “It was fascinating to see legal principles put into practice in non-obvious ways, but also immensely gratifying to see that organizations like the Goldwater Institute exist, and are working in the trenches to keep the flame of liberty lit.” He earned a spot as a Goldwater Institute law clerk as part of its Ronald Reagan Fellows program, and today, he’s a staff attorney who’s litigated dozens of cases on behalf of the Institute.

Last year, Adi represented the then-foster parents of a baby girl (“A.D.”) who was born substance-exposed due to her birth mother’s addiction. A.D. was placed in the foster parents’ care when she was five days old, and their love and care helped A.D. become a healthy, happy one-year-old. A day before her first birthday, an Arizona tribe decided to take A.D. from her foster parents’ care and place her with complete strangers; the tribe argued that since A.D. had some Native American ancestry, her custody should be governed by the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, which puts race above the best interests of a child. Adi and the Goldwater Institute took the case all the way to the Arizona Supreme Court—and won. Today, A.D. is with the family that has cared for her since she was a newborn.

Cases like this and the tenets that drive them—like the pursuit of equal protection for all—are what motivate Adi to do what he does every day.

“What keeps me at the Institute are the principles my colleagues and I have in common, and the passion of everyone who works at the Institute to fight for liberty, untainted by shifts in contemporary politics.”

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