WASHINGTON (AP) — Lani Guinier, a civil rights lawyer and scholar whose nomination to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division was pulled by President Bill Clinton after conservatives criticized her views on fixing racial discrimination. had, has died. She was 71 years old.
Guinier died on Friday, the dean of Harvard Law School, John F. Manning said in a message to students and teachers. His cousin, Sherry Russell-Brown, said in an email that the reason was complications due to Alzheimer’s disease.
When she joined the faculty in 1998, Guinier became the first woman of color to be appointed to a term at Harvard Law School. Prior to this she was a professor at the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania. He previously led the voting rights project at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in the 1980s and served in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division during President Jimmy Carter’s administration, which he was later named to major.
“I have always wanted to be a civil rights advocate. This lifelong ambition is based on a deep commitment to democratic fair play – playing by the rules as long as the rules are fair. When the rules seem unfair, I worked to change them not to remove them,” he wrote in his 1994 book, “Tyrney of the Majority: Fundamental Fairness in Representative Democracy.”
Clinton, who knew Guinier back when she attended law school at Yale, nominated her for a Justice Department position in 1993. But Guinier, who wrote as a law professor about ways to address racial discrimination, came under fire from conservative critics, who called her views extreme and referred to her as the “quota queen”. Guinier stated that the label was untrue, that she did not endorse or even write about Kota, and that her views were misrepresented.
Clinton withdrew her nomination, saying that he had not read her academic writings before nominating her and would not have done so if she had.
In a press conference held at the Justice Department after withdrawing his nomination, Guinier said, “If I were allowed to testify in a public forum before the United States Senate, I believe the Senate would also Will agree that I am the right person for this job, for a job some people have said I have trained all my life.”
Guinier said he was “deeply disappointed that I have been denied the opportunity to step forward, reaffirm and work together to move this country away from the polarization of the past 12 years, which is the decibel of the rhetoric surrounding it.” To lower the level. To build a bridge between race and good-willed people to enforce civil rights laws on behalf of all Americans.”
He was told more while addressing the NAACP convention a month later.
“I endured the personal humiliation of being discredited as a crazy woman with strange hair—you know what that means—with a strange name and strange ideas, ideas like democracy, freedom and fairness, which mean that all people should be equally represented in our political process,” Guinier said. “But lest any of you feel sorry for me, according to press reports the president still loves me. He won’t hire me.”
On Twitter Friday, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund head Sherlyn Ifill called Guinier “my mentor” and a “scholar of undistinguished talent.”
Harvard Law Dean, Manning, said: “His scholarship changed our understanding of democracy – why and how the voices of people who were historically underrepresented should be heard and what it takes to have a meaningful right to vote. It also changed our understanding of the educational system and what we need to do to create opportunities to learn, grow and thrive in school and beyond for all members of our diverse society.
Penn Law Dean Emeritus Colin Diver, whose time as dean overlapped with Guinier’s time on the faculty, said that he “pushing the envelope in several important and constructive ways: advocating for alternative voting methods, such as cumulative Voting, questioning the inherent expectations of law school faculty that female students be treated like ‘gentlemen,’ or proposing alternative methods for evaluating and selecting applicants to law school.”
Carol Lani Guinier was born on 19 April 1950 in New York City. His father, Ewart Guinier, became the first chairman of Harvard University’s Department of Afro-American Studies. His mother, Eugenia “Jenny” Paprin Guinier, became a civil rights activist. The couple—he was black and she was white and Jewish—were married at a time when it was still illegal for interracial couples to marry in many states.
Lani Guinier, a graduate of Harvard’s Radcliffe College, is survived by her husband Nolan Bowie and son Nicholas Bowie, who is also a Harvard Law School professor.
“My mother deeply believed in democracy, yet thought it could work only when power was shared, not monopoly. That insight informed everything they did, from treating generations of students as peers to challenging hierarchies wherever they found them. I miss her so much,” her son wrote in an email.
Other survivors include a step-daughter, daughter-in-law and granddaughter.