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PAGES : Guinier to Get Her Say at Last

October 11, 1993|ELIZABETH MEHREN

Do we detect a small note of irony--possibly even bitterness--in the title of Lani Guinier's new collection of essays?

If so, blame James Madison, who first made reference to "The Tyranny of the Majority" in "The Federalist Papers." Guinier, a University of Pennsylvania law professor, presumably was attracted to the phrase after she found herself in such hot water during her ill-fated nomination to be U.S. assistant attorney general for civil rights.

Opinions expressed in her legal essays were the principal source of controversy. Most of the writings had previously appeared only in academic law journals--not exactly daily reading for most members of the public or government officials. President Clinton withdrew Guinier's nomination on June 3, contending that he differed with her views about democratic fairness.

Guinier's book, scheduled to be published in February by Martin Kessler Books at The Free Press, will include an introduction examining the uproar surrounding her nomination.

"Professor Guinier's views . . . deserved to have been fully and openly debated in a Senate hearing," says Kessler, her publisher. "They weren't. We hope this book will make up for that."

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