Very Sad News: Doug Kendall Has Died

Sad news of an untimely death: “Doug Kendall, progressive litigator, author, activist, non-profit entrepreneur – named a “Visionary” by the National Law Journal in 2011 – and founding president of Constitutional Accountability Center since June 2008, passed away today from complications of colon cancer. He was 51.”

Jack Balkin:

Doug organized the Constitutional Accountability Center to promote his deeply held belief that the Constitution is at its core a document of progress.  He maintained that our Constitution’s text, history and structure pointed toward ever greater protection for freedom and equality.  In an era when conservative originalists claimed a monopoly on constitutional fidelity, Doug Kendall spoke confidently and eloquently for a progressive constitutional faith. He defended the great achievements of American constitutionalism and argued that they were fully consistent with the Constitution’s text and history.  He yielded to no one in his devotion and commitment to fidelity to the United States Constitution.

Doug gave these ideas life through his tireless efforts in scholarship, litigation, and institution-building. And he succeeded beyond what anyone could have imagined when he began. He was a great man doing great things. We are all in his debt.

Randy Barnett:

By and large I disagreed with the constitutional stances of his CAC. For example, during the constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act, I frequently appeared with his close colleague Elizabeth Wydra, who passionately defended the constitutionality of the individual insurance mandate. But, even where I disagree with their conclusions, the briefs and arguments submitted by the Constitution Accountability Center make a vital contribution to the adversary process by which claims of original meaning should be vetted.

Doug Kendall was a true gentleman who loved the Constitution. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family and his colleagues. He was a force to be reckoned with during his life and, with the Constitutional Accountability Center he founded, his force will continue long after his passing.

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