Obituaries

Doug Kendall, 51; lawyer saw the Constitution as progressive

WASHINGTON — Doug Kendall, a litigator who challenged conservative and even some liberal legal traditions, died Sept. 26 at his home in Washington. He was 51.

He was known for his view that the Constitution is an essentially progressive founding document. His death, from complications of colon cancer, was announced by the Constitutional Accountability Center, a Washington think tank, law firm, and advocacy group that Dr. Kendall established and led.

Historically, constitutional debate has created two broadly defined camps: a conservative one, favoring ‘‘originalist’’ theory hewing to what is believed to have been the intent of the Founding Fathers, and a liberal one advocating the view that the Constitution is a ‘‘living document’’ that must be interpreted in a shifting society.

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Jeffrey Rosen, a law professor at George Washington University, described Dr. Kendall as ‘‘the most important advocate in the public square for a vision of progressive originalism.’’

Douglas Townsend Kendall was born in Huntington, N.Y. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics and a law degree from the University of Virginia.