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Lani Guinier, Legal Scholar at the Center of Controversy, Dies at 71

Ms. Guinier married Nolan Bowie, a fellow professor and authorized scholar, in 1986. He survives her, as do her sisters, Clotilde Guinier Stenson, Sary Guinier and Marie Guinier; her son, Nikolas Bowie, additionally a regulation professor at Harvard; her stepdaughter, Dana Rice; and a granddaughter.

After a clerkship with a U.S. District Courtroom decide in Michigan and a yr working with juvenile offenders in Detroit, Ms. Guinier moved to Washington to work within the Division of Justice. She left in 1981, when President Ronald Reagan took workplace, and for many of that decade she led the Voting Rights Undertaking of the NAACP Authorized Protection Fund.

Ms. Guinier grew to become an aggressive litigator, touring, for instance, in 1985 to Alabama, the place, with Deval Patrick, the longer term governor of Massachusetts, she helped lead the protection in a voting rights case in opposition to Jeff Periods, the longer term senator and legal professional normal who was then a U.S. legal professional. Her crew gained an acquittal.

“She was simply probably the most progressive thinkers within the voting rights area,” Sherrilyn Ifill, the outgoing head of the Authorized Protection Fund, mentioned in a cellphone interview.

Ms. Guinier left the protection fund for a place on the College of Pennsylvania Legislation College in 1989. There she started to show her expertise defending voting rights into concepts about how you can reform the system.

She argued, for instance, that merely having a vote was not sufficient for minorities, particularly these from oppressed courses. She proposed a wide range of alternate options, like cumulative voting, through which folks get a variety of votes to distribute as they need — a course of which may permit minority voters to pay attention their assist on a single candidate and in that method enhance their affect as a bloc.

“Her concern was that every vote depend the identical as the subsequent vote, and the traditional districting course of doesn’t create that,” Gerald Torres, a professor at Yale Legislation College and a frequent collaborator, mentioned by cellphone.

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