Home News Drew Days, First Black Head of Civil Rights Unit, Dies at 79

Drew Days, First Black Head of Civil Rights Unit, Dies at 79


Mr. Days had beloved to sing — he practiced Renaissance madrigals within the bathe — and, whereas at Yale, was a featured tenor within the Yale Russian Chorus. When the refrain sought out feminine singers for roles within the Glinka opera “A Life for the Czar,” Ann Ramsay Langdon, a pupil at Connecticut School, volunteered. The 2 received to know one another throughout rehearsals, and so they married in 1966.

Whereas at regulation faculty, Mr. Days labored for a civil rights lawyer in Georgia and afterward briefly joined a small agency in Chicago. He and his spouse then served within the Peace Corps for 2 years in Honduras.

Mr. Days got here to the eye of President Carter when Mr. Carter appointed Griffin B. Bell as legal professional basic. Choose Bell, who had sat on the U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, had been impressed with Mr. Days when the younger lawyer was arguing faculty desegregation instances within the South. Mr. Days headed the civil rights division at some stage in the Carter administration.

Throughout his later stint as solicitor basic, Mr. Days argued 17 instances earlier than the Supreme Court docket and oversaw a gaggle of attorneys who made greater than 180 appearances.

Considered one of his most famous instances was his profitable argument towards time period limits for members of Congress. The 1995 resolution, U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton, threw chilly water on a well-liked motion, heralded by Newt Gingrich, the speaker of the House, in his Contract With America, that had nominal assist from many politicians, however little actual enthusiasm.

After serving as solicitor basic, Mr. Days returned to Yale, the place he hung an indication in his workplace saying, “No soliciting.” He continued to show whereas practising at a personal agency, Morrison & Foerster, in Washington. He led the agency’s Supreme Court docket and appellate group from 1997 till his retirement in 2011. He retired from Yale in 2017.

Along with his spouse, he’s survived by two daughters, Dr. Alison L. Days and Elizabeth J. Days; two granddaughters; and his sister, Jacquelyn D. Serwer.