Doug Kendall, who founded the Constitutional Accountability Center seven years ago and built it into an influential counterweight to conservative legal thinking, died on Sept. 26 at age 51.

The cause was colon cancer, according to an announcement by the Washington-based organization. Kendall was diagnosed more than two years ago, but did not spread the news of his illness much beyond colleagues and close friends. He is survived by his wife Juliet and daughter Miracle.

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