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Behind Shadows Law Professor Lani Guinier’s Cause of Death

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It’s with the most profound sorrow to announce on January 8, 2021, that the civil rights champion and Harvard law professor passed away. The heartfelt news has shaken many souls. Stay to learn about Lani Guinier’s cause of sudden death, her life, and her career.

Born on April 19, 1950, Guinier grew up to serve as a civil rights theorist who became the Bennett Boskey Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She made her way to become the first woman of color appointed to a tenured professorship there.

Before joining Harvard Law School in 1998, she used to work as a Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School for ten years. Her projects included the professional responsibilities of public lawyers, the role of race and gender in the political process, the relationship between democracy and law, college admissions, and affirmative action.

Behind Shadows Law Professor Lani Guinier's Cause of Death

She has not only achieved ten honorary degrees from schools such as Smith College, Swarthmore College; she has also delivered the Yale Law School Fowler Harper Lecture, entitled “The Political Representative as Powerful Stranger: Challenges for Democracy.”

After watching on television as Constance Baker Motley, being a civil rights lawyer was what she wanted since she was twelve years old. During the Carter Administration, she has served as special assistant to Assistant Attorney General Drew S. Days in the Civil Rights Division.

Not to mention being admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 1981. She joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) as an assistant counsel, eventually becoming head of its Voting Rights project after Ronald Reagan took office.

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What Did Lead to Lani Guinier’s Cause of Death?

Although not a lot has been shared nor confirmed due to Lani Guinier’s cause of death, It’s shared that she passed away on Friday afternoon, surrounded by her family and friends.

According to several sources, Lani Guinier had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which has not been confirmed yet. However, she had shown concern for this disease and to those who got this disease. 

She was blessed with a son, Nikolas Bowie, shared with her husband, Nolan Bowie. The beloved angel passed away at the age of 71. May she rest in peace. Since the heartfelt news is out, many have shared their condolences through social media.

Mondaire Jones expressed: “My heart breaks over the passing of my former professor, Lani Guinier. I will have more to say on the House floor next week, but here I will just note that she taught me everything I know about voting rights law. Now she joins the pantheon of great civil rights leaders in heaven.”

Elie Mystal tributed as well: “Sadden to learn that Lani Guinier has passed away. She taught me pretty much everything I know about voting right and, more importantly, she taught me to be passionate about protecting them and defending them.”

She spoke at a news conference about the experience after Clinton withdrew her nomination: “I have always wanted to be a civil rights lawyer. I deeply regret that I shall not have the opportunity for public service in the Civil Rights Division.”

She said: “I am greatly disappointed that I have been denied the opportunity to go forward to be confirmed and to work closely to move this country away from the polarization of the last 12 years, to lower the decibel level of the rhetoric that surrounds race, and to build bridges among people of goodwill to enforce the civil rights laws on behalf of all Americans.”

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Lani Guinier’s Quotes & Beliefs:

She has written in The Tyranny of the Meritocracy that affirmative action’s weakness and vulnerability cooperates with, and perhaps unintentionally legitimate, a meritocracy that privileges test scores over other indicators of student potential in the first place.

She once said that Michelle Alexander’s brave and bold new book paints a haunting picture in which dreary felon garb, post-prison joblessness, and loss of voting rights now do the stigmatizing work once done by colored, only water fountains and legally segregated schools. With dazzling candor, Alexander argues that we all pay the cost of the new Jim Crow.

Mrs. Lani even talked about how most people ask questions just to know the answer; however, lawyers are trained not to ask questions unless they already know the answer.

She used to believe that in a racially divided society, majority rule is not a reliable instrument of democracy. Her most famous quote is that: “As a country, we are in a state of denial about issues of race and racism. And too many of our leaders have concluded that the way to remedy racism is to simply stop talking about race.”

Beloved Guinier has been active since 2001 in civil rights in higher education, coining the team’ confirmative action’ due to conceptualizing the issues including diversity, fairness, and affirmative actions.


Reactions to Lani Guinier’s Cause of Death:

Sherrilyn Ifill wrote: “A loss that means more to me than words can say. Civil rights Atty, professor, my mentor, member of our ⁦@NAACP_LDF⁩ family. A mother of the 1982 amendments to the Voting Rights Act. A scholar of uncompromising brilliance. Rest In Peace and Power, dear Lani. #LaniGuinier.”

One said: “Her voice, her wisdom, her integrity, her bravery, her caring for others, her imagination and rigorous thinking, and her unerring sense of justice… will inspire those who knew her and those who come to know of her..in the years to come.” RIP Lani Guinier.”

Kristen Clarke tweeted: “Lani Guinier was one of the nation’s most dedicated civil rights lawyers and brightest scholars — she cared deeply about political representation and ensuring that all communities have a voice in our democracy. We’ve lost a giant. #rip#laniguinier.”

Mrs. Lani Guinier standing next to Rep. Bobby Scott

Janai Nelson expressed: “Grieving the loss of @NAACP_LDF alum, professor, writer & mother Lani Guinier. She was a legal giant, visionary of justice & defender of democracy. Exceptional brilliance. Unshakable resilience. Read her work. Study her writings. Know this genius. May she rest in peace & power.”

Another said: “Sorry to hear that Professor Guinier passed away. I remember her genius, passion, relentless pursuit of voting rights, and the day it was announced she would become the first black woman tenured professor at #Harvard Law School. God bless you #LaniGuinier.”

One shared: “Bad faith attacks on #LaniGuinier sent me scurrying to UCLA law library to read what she really had written. Joe Biden, head of Senate Judiciary Committee, couldn’t be bothered to do the same. Dems were SERIOUSLY crippled by failing to heed her voice. Still trying to catch up!”

Imani Perry commented: “Lani Guinier is the reason I went to law school. And she became my professor. And gave beautiful advice and affirmation. She taught me, and I told her this, how to be critical at the site of my own privilege.”


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