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Marshall, Thurgood 1908–1993

Thurgood Marshall 19081993

Supreme Court justice

Raised in Prosperous Home

Joined NAACP Staff

Helped End School Segregation

Named to Supreme Court

Liberal Voice in Changing Court

Selected writings

Sources

United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall built a distinguished career fighting for the cause of civil rights and equal opportunity. Ebony dubbed Marshall the most important Black man of this centurya man who rose higher than any Black person before him and who has had more effect on Black lives than any other person, Black or White. The first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court, Marshall stood alone as the Supreme Courts liberal conscience toward the end of his career, the last impassioned spokesman for a left-wing view on such causes as affirmative action, abolishment of the death penalty, and due process. His retirement in 1991 left the Court in the hands of more conservative justices.

Duke University professor John Hope Franklin told Ebony: If you study the history of Marshalls career, the history of his rulings on the Supreme Court, even his dissents, you will understand that when he speaks, he is not speaking just for Black Americans but for Americans of all times. He reminds us constantly of the great promise this country has made of equality, and he reminds us that it has not been fulfilled. Through his life he has been a great watchdog, insisting that this nation live up to the Constitution.

Raised in Prosperous Home

Marshalls work on behalf of civil rights spanned five-and-a-half decades and included the history-making Brown vs. Board of Education ruling that led to integration of the nations public schools in 1954. As an attorney for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Marshall fought to have blacks admitted to then-segregated state universities, challenged the armed services to offer equal treatment for black recruits, and even assured that blacks would have the right to serve on a jury. John Hope Franklin put it this way: For Black people he holds special significance because it was Thurgood hellip; and a few others who told us we could get justice through interpretation of the law. Marshall was at the head of these lawyers who told us to hold fast because they were going to get the law on our side. And they did.

Marshall was born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland, into modest but prosperous circumstances.

At a Glance

Born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, MD; died on January 24, 1993, in Washington, DC; son of William C. (a club steward) and Norma A. (a school teacher) Marshall; married Vivian Burey, 1929 (died, 1955); married Cecilia A. Suyat, 1955; children: (second marriage) Thurgood, Jr., John William. Education; Lincoln University, BA, 1930; Howard University Law School, LLB, 1933. Politics: Democratic.

Career: Admitted to the Maryland Bar, 1933; private law practice, Baltimore, 1933-38; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Assistant Special Counsel, 1936-38; NAACP, Special Counsel, 1938-50; NAACP, director of legal defense and education fund, 1940-46; 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, judge, 1961-65; Solicitor General for the United States of America, 1965-67; United States Supreme Court justice, 1967-91.

Memberships: American Bar Association; National Bar Association; Civil Liberties Union; Masonic Order.

Awards: Spingarn Medal from NAACP, 1946; Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Horatio Alger Award; numerous honorary doctorate degrees.

His mother worked as a teacher in a segregated public elementary school, and his father was a steward at the staunchly all-white Gibson Island yacht club. Marshalls first name derives from a great-grandfather, Thorough-good Marshall, who was brought to America from the Congo as a slave. Both of Thurgood Marshalls grandfathers owned grocery stores. The judge told Ebony that he rarely felt uncomfortable about his race while growing up in Baltimore. He lived in a nice home on Druid Hill Avenue and played with children of both races. He described himself as a mediocre student and a cutup, whose punishment was often to read the United States Constitution out loud. By the time he graduated from high school, he knew it by heart.

In September of 1925, Marshall became a student at Lincoln University, near Philadelphia. He originally intended to study medicine and dentistry, but he changed to the humanities and began to consider a career in law. Williams notes that in college Marshall still was something of a cutuphe was thrown out of the college twice for fraternity pranks. During his junior year, however, he married a student from the University of Pennsylvania, Vivian Burey.

Joined NAACP Staff

The relationship settled him down, and he graduated cum laude from Lincoln in 1930. From there he moved to Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he enrolled in the small, all-black law school. The course supervisor was Charles H. Houston, a demanding but inspiring instructor who instilled in his students a burning desire to change segregated society. Marshall graduated first in his class, earning his LLB in 1933. He was admitted to the Maryland Bar the same year.

Returning to Baltimore, Marshall began working as a private practice lawyer. Williams noted, however, that the young lawyer still made time for the fight against segregation. Representing the local NAACP, he negotiated with White store owners who sold to Blacks but would not hire them. Marshall also took the case of a would-be law student who wanted to attend the all-white University of Maryland law school. The case against the university was Marshalls first big one. His former professor came to town to help him argue it, and the judge gave them a favorable ruling. Soon thereafter, Marshall was invited to join the NAACPs national office in New York City as an assistant special counsel. Two years later, in 1938, he became the head special counsel for the powerful organization.

For the next 20 years, Williams wrote, [Marshall] traveled the country using the Constitution to force state and federal courts to protect the rights of Black Americans. The work was dangerous, and Marshall frequently wondered if he might not end up dead or in the same jail holding those he was trying to defend. Marshall prepared cases against the University of Missouri and the University of Texas on behalf of black students. He petitioned the governor of Texas when a black was excluded from jury duty. During and after World War II, he was an outspoken opponent of the government detention of Japanese Americans, and in 1951 he investigated unfair court-martial practices aimed at blacks in the military in Korea and Japan. William H. Hastie, of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, told the New York Times: Certainly no lawyer, and practically no member of the bench has Thurgood Marshalls grasp of the doctrine of law as it affects civil rights.

Helped End School Segregation

The limelight found Marshall in 1954, when he led the legal team that challenged public school segregation in the courts. The case advanced to the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in a landmark ruling that ended a half-century of segregated schooling. Remembering those days when he worked on Brown vs. Board of Education, Marshall told Ebony that the Courts decision probably did more than anything else to awaken the Negro from his apathy to demanding his right to equality. At the time, however, Marshall was an opponent of civil disobedience for blacks in the South, feeling that organized opposition might lead to white violenceas indeed it did.

Marshalls first wife died after a long illness in 1955. A year later, he married Cecilia Suyat, a secretary at the NAACPs New York office. The Brown vs. Board of Education ruling had made Marshall a national figurehe was known for some time as Mr. Civil Rightsand when Democrats took control of the White House, the ambitious attorney let it be known that he wanted a judgeship.

Eventually, after much opposition from Southern senators and even from Robert Kennedy, Marshall was named to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1961. As the civil rights movement gained ground in the 1960s, so did Marshall. In 1965 he was given the post of United States solicitor general, a position in which he represented the government before the Supreme Court. His most important case during these years was the one leading to the adoption of the Miranda rule, which requires policemen to inform suspects of their rights.

Named to Supreme Court

Against stiff opposition even in his own (Democratic) party, President Lyndon Johnson nominated Marshall to the Supreme Court in 1967. Marshalls nomination was opposed most violently by four Southern senators on the Judiciary Committee, but nevertheless he was confirmed by a vote of 69 to 11. He was sworn in and took his seat on October 2, 1967, and he stayed until his failing health forced him to retire in 1991. Williams wrote: Throughout his time on the court, Marshall has remained a strong advocate of individual rights. He has remained a conscience on the bench, never wavering in his devotion to ending discrimination.

Marshall was known as the most tart-tongued member of the court. He was never reticent with his opinions, especially on matters affecting the civil rights agenda. Former justice William Brennan, long Marshalls liberal ally on the court, told Ebony: The only time Thurgood may make people uncomfortable, and perhaps its when they should be made uncomfortable, is when hell take off in a given is another expression of racism.

It came as no surprise therefore that judge Marshall was a vocal critic of both Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Few justices have been known to speak out on political matters, and for years Marshall himself refused to grant interviews. Near the end of his service to the Court, however, Marshall did speak out when he was stung by court reversals on minority set-aside programs and affirmative action. In 1987 Marshall dismissed Reagan as the bottom in terms of his commitment to black Americans. He later told Ebony: I wouldnt do the job of dogcatcher for Ronald Reagan. Marshall later heaped equal vitriol on the Bush administration after the president vetoed an important civil rights bill. The justice told Newsweek that the actions of Bush and Reagan reflect a return to the days when we [blacks] really didnt have a chance.

Liberal Voice in Changing Court

During the more than a decade that Republicans controlled the White House, one by one, retiring judges were replaced with more conservative successors. For many years Marshall and Brennan teamed as the high courts true liberals, and Marshall was gravely disappointed when his colleague was forced to retire. Marshall remained the lone outspoken liberal on the nine-member court, suffering through heart attacks, pneumonia, blood clots, and glaucoma. Marshall steadfastly refused to consider stepping down before absolutely necessary because, as he told Ebony, I have a lifetime appointment and I intend to serve it. I expect to die at 110, shot by a jealous husband. One of Marshalls law clerks told People magazine that Marshall felt compelled to remain on the court, perhaps at the expense of his health, because he saw himself as the champion of the underdog. Hes the conscience of the Court, the clerk said. Despite his predictions, Marshalls failing health finally impeded his ability to perform his duties. He retired in 1991 and died of heart failure on January 24, 1993.

Marshall lived with his wife near Washington, D.C., until his death in 1993. Marshalls oldest son, Thurgood, Jr. is an attorney on Senator Edward Kennedys Judiciary Committee staff. The younger son, John, is a Virginia state policeman.

Marshall will be well remembered. Marshall served as a strong leader during the civil rights movement, as an architect of the legal strategy that ended racial segregation, and as the first African-American Justice of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist referred to the words inscribed above the front entrance to the Supreme CourtEqual Justice for AHstating in his eulogy that, Surely no one individual did more to make these words a reality than Thurgood Marshall.

Selected writings

Thurgood Marshall: His Speeches, Writings, Arguments, Opinions, and Reminiscences, Mark V. Tushnet, ed., Lawrence Hill Books, 2001.

Supreme Justice: Speeches and Writings, J. Clay Smith, Jr., ed., University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.

Sources

Books

Ball, Howard, Thurgood Marshall and the Persistence of Racism in America, Crown, 1998.

Gibson, Karen Bush, Thurgood Marshall, Bridgestone, 2002.

Williams, Juan, Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, Time, 1998.

Periodicals

Ebony, May 1990.

Newsweek, September 21, 1987; August 6, 1990.

New York Times, November 23, 1946; April 6, 1951; January 25, 1993.

People, July 7, 1986.

Mark Kram and Sara Pendergast

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Kram, Mark; Pendergast, Sara. "Marshall, Thurgood 1908–1993." Contemporary Black Biography. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 30 Aug. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Kram, Mark; Pendergast, Sara. "Marshall, Thurgood 1908–1993." Contemporary Black Biography. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. (August 30, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3431000043.html

Kram, Mark; Pendergast, Sara. "Marshall, Thurgood 1908–1993." Contemporary Black Biography. 2004. Retrieved August 30, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3431000043.html

Marshall, Thurgood 1908—

Thurgood Marshall 1908

Former Supreme Court justice

At a Glance

Planned to Study Medicine

Joined NAACP Staff

Helped End School Segregation

Named to Supreme Court

Last Liberal on Changing Court

Sources

Former United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall built a distinguished career fighting for the cause of civil rights and equal opportunity. Ebony contributor Juan Williams called Marshall the most important Black man of this centurya man who rose higher than any Black person before him and who has had more effect on Black lives than any other person, Black or White. Prior to his retirement in June of 1991, Marshall stood alone as the Supreme Courts liberal conscience, the last impassioned spokesman for a left-wing view on such causes as affirmative action, abolishment of the death penalty, and due process.

Duke University professor John Hope Franklin told Ebony: If you study the history of Marshalls career, the history of his rulings on the Supreme Court, even his dissents, you will understand that when he speaks, he is not speaking just for Black Americans but for Americans of all times. He reminds us constantly of the great promise this country has made of equality, and he reminds us that it has not been fulfilled. Through his life he has been a great watchdog, insisting that this nation live up to the Constitution.

Marshalls work on behalf of civil rights spanned five and a half decades and included the history-making Brown vs. Board of Education ruling that led to integration of the nations public schools in 1954. As an attorney for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Marshall fought to have blacks admitted to segregated state universities, challenged the armed services to offer equal treatment for black recruits, and even assured that blacks would have the right to serve on a jury. John Hope Franklin put it this way: For Black people he holds special significance because it was Thurgood and a few others who told us we could get justice through interpretation of the law. Marshall was at the head of these lawyers who told us to hold fast because they were going to get the law on our side. And they did.

Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1908, into modest but prosperous circumstances. His mother worked as a teacher in a segregated public elementary school, and his father was a steward at the staunchly all-white Gibson Island Yacht Club. Marshalls first name derives from a great-grandfather, Thoroughgood Marshall, who was brought to America from the Congo as a slave. Both

At a Glance

Born July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, MD; son of William C. (a club steward) and Norma A. (a school teacher) Marshall; married Vivian Burey, 1929 (died, 1955); married Cecilia A. Suyat, 1955; children: (second marriage) Thurgood, Jr., John William. Education: Lincoln University, B.A., 1930; Howard University Law School, LL.B., 1933.

Admitted to the Maryland Bar, 1933; practiced law privately in Baltimore, 1933-38; Assistant Special Counsel to National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 1936-38; Special Counsel to the NAACP, 1938-50, and director of legal defense and education fund, 1940-61. Named judge, 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, 1961-65; Solicitor-General for the United States of America, 1965-67; United States Supreme Court justice, 1967-91.

Awards: Spingarn Medal from NAACP, 1946; recipient of Horatio Alger Award from Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. Numerous honorary degrees.

Member: American Bar Association, National Bar Association, Civil Liberties Union, and the Masonic Order.

of Thurgood Marshalls grandfathers owned grocery stores. Marshall told Ebony that he rarely felt uncomfortable about his race while growing up in Baltimore. He lived in a nice home on Druid Hill Avenue and played with children of both races. He describes himself as a mediocre student and a cutup, whose punishment was often to read the United States Constitution out loud. By the time he graduated from high school, he knew it by heart.

Planned to Study Medicine

In September of 1925, Marshall became a student at Lincoln University, near Philadelphia. He originally intended to study medicine and dentistry, but he changed to the humanities and began to consider a career in law. Williams noted that in college Marshall still was something of a cutuphe was thrown out of the college twice for fraternity pranks.During his junior year, however, he married a student from the University of Pennsylvania, Vivian Burey.

The relationship settled him down, and he graduated cum laude from Lincoln in 1930. From there he moved to Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he enrolled in the small, all-black law school. The course supervisor was Charles H. Houston, a demanding but inspiring instructor who instilled in his students a burning desire to change segregated society. Marshall graduated first in his class, earning his LL.B. in 1933. He was admitted to the Maryland Bar the same year.

Joined NAACP Staff

Returning to Baltimore, Marshall began working as a private practice lawyer. Williams noted, however, that the young lawyer still made time for the fight against segregation. Representing the local NAACP, he negotiated with White store owners who sold to Blacks but would not hire them. Marshall also took the case of a would-be law student who wanted to attend the all-white University of Maryland law school. The case against the university was Marshalls first big one. His former professor came to town to help him argue it, and the judge gave them a favorable ruling. Soon thereafter, Marshall was invited to join the NAACPs national office in New York City as an assistant special counsel. Two years later, in 1938, he became the head special counsel for the powerful organization.

For the next 20 years, Williams wrote, [Marshall] traveled the country using the Constitution to force state and federal courts to protect the rights of Black Americans. The work was dangerous, and Marshall frequently wondered if he might not end up dead or in the same jail holding those he was trying to defend. Marshall prepared cases against the University of Missouri and the University of Texas on behalf of black students. He petitioned the governor of Texas when a black was excluded from jury duty. During and after the Second World War, he was an outspoken opponent of the government detention of Japanese Americans, and in 1951 he investigated unfair court-martial practices aimed at blacks in the military in Korea and Japan. William H. Hastie, of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, told the New York Times: Certainly no lawyer, and practically no member of the bench has Thurgood Marshalls grasp of the doctrine of law as it affects civil rights.

Helped End School Segregation

The limelight found Marshall in 1954, when he led the legal team that challenged public school segregation in the courts. The case advanced to the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in a landmark ruling that ended a half-century of segregated schooling. Remembering those days when he worked on Brown vs. Board of Education, Marshall told Ebony that the Courts decision probably did more than anything else to awaken the Negro from his apathy to demanding his right to equality. At the time, however, Marshall was an opponent of civil disobedience for blacks in the South, feeling that organized opposition might lead to white violenceas indeed it did.

Marshalls first wife died after a long illness in 1955. A year later, he married Cecilia Suyat, a secretary at the NAACPs New York office. The Brown vs. Board of Education ruling had made Marshall a national figure he was known for some time as Mr. Civil Rightsand when Democrats took control of the White House, the ambitious attorney let it be known that he wanted a judgeship.

Eventually, after much opposition from Southern senators and even from Robert Kennedy, Marshall was named to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 1961. As the Civil Rights Movement gained ground in the 1960s, so did Marshall. In 1965 he was given the post of United States Solicitor General, a position in which he represented the government before the Supreme Court. His most important case during these years was the one leading to the adoption of the Miranda rule, which requires the police to inform suspects of their rights.

Named to Supreme Court

Against stiff opposition even in his own (Democratic) party, President Lyndon Johnson nominated Marshall to the Supreme Court in 1967. Marshalls nomination was opposed most violently by four Southern senators on the Judiciary Committee, but nevertheless he was confirmed by a vote of 69 to 11. He was sworn in and took his seat on October 2, 1967. Williams wrote: Throughout his time on the court, Marshall has remained a strong advocate of individual rights. He has remained a conscience on the bench, never wavering in his devotion to ending discrimination.

Marshall was known as the most tart-tongued member of the court and was never reticent with his opinions, especially on matters affecting the civil rights agenda. Former justice William Brennan, long Marshalls liberal ally on the court, told Ebony: The only time Thurgood may make people uncomfortable, and perhaps its when they should be made uncomfortable, is when hell take off in a given case that he thinks is another expression of racism.

It is therefore no surprise that Marshall was a vocal critic of both Ronald Reagan and George Bush. Few justices have been known to speak out on political matters, and for years Marshall himself refused to grant interviews. In the years just prior to his retirement, however, Marshall was stung by court reversals on minority set-aside programs and affirmative action. In 1987 Marshall dismissed Reagan as the bottom in terms of his commitment to black Americans. He later told Ebony: I wouldnt do the job of dogcatcher for Ronald Reagan. In 1990 Marshall heaped equal vitriol on the Bush administration after the president vetoed an important civil rights bill. He told Newsweek that the actions of Bush and Reagan reflected a return to the days when we [blacks] really didnt have a chance.

Last Liberal on Changing Court

More than a decade has passed since a Democrat sat in the White House, and inevitably this has brought changes to the nations Supreme Court. One by one, retiring justices have been replaced with more conservative successors. For many years Marshall and Brennan teamed as the high courts true liberals, and Marshall was gravely disappointed when his colleague retired. Marshall was the last outspoken liberal on the nine-member court, and had long voiced his determination to hold his seat despite heart attacks, pneumonia, blood clots, and glaucoma. I have a lifetime appointment, Marshall told Ebony in 1990, and I intend to serve it. I expect to die at 110, shot by a jealous husband.

One of Marshalls law clerks told People magazine that Marshall felt compelled to remain on the Court, perhaps at the expense of his health, because he saw himself as the champion of the underdog. Hes the conscience of the Court, the clerk said, and hes happy in that role. But on June 27, 1991, Marshall announced his retirement from the high court, citing his advancing age and medical condition as reasons for stepping down.

Marshall and his wife live near Washington, D.C. Their oldest son, Thurgood, Jr. is an attorney on Senator Edward Kennedys Judiciary Committee staff. The younger son, John, is a Virginia state policeman. The Marshalls also have several grandchildren. In his spare time the Justice enjoys spending a few days gambling in Atlantic City.

Sources

Ebony, May 1990.

Detroit Free Press, June 28, 1991.

Detroit News, June 28, 1991.

Newsweek, September 21, 1987; August 6, 1990.

New York Times, November 23, 1946; April 6, 1951.

People, July 7, 1986.

Mark Kram

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Kram, Mark. "Marshall, Thurgood 1908—." Contemporary Black Biography. 1992. Encyclopedia.com. 30 Aug. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Kram, Mark. "Marshall, Thurgood 1908—." Contemporary Black Biography. 1992. Encyclopedia.com. (August 30, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2870300049.html

Kram, Mark. "Marshall, Thurgood 1908—." Contemporary Black Biography. 1992. Retrieved August 30, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2870300049.html

Marshall, Thurgood

Marshall, Thurgood 1908-1993

EDUCATION AND LAW PRACTICE

BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

In 1967 Thurgood Marshall, who was born in Baltimore on July 2, 1908, became the first African American appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Marshalls twenty-four-year tenure as a justice was marked by a strong interest in protecting the rights of criminal defendants (e.g., protection against illegal search and seizure) and opposition to the death penalty (Furman v. Georgia, 1972). Marshalls appointment to the Court was part of a successful career as an advocate for the protection of civil rights. Marshall dedicated his career to enhancing access to every arena of public life, with a particular focus on education, housing, employment, and voting. He believed that promoting equal rights under the law was essential to the proper functioning of democracy. According to Marshall, equal means getting the same thing, at the same time and in the same place (Brown v. Board of Education, 1954). Marshalls dedication created a lasting legacy that encompasses numerous aspects of American jurisprudence. He died in Bethesda, Maryland, on January 24, 1993.

EDUCATION AND LAW PRACTICE

Thurgood (born Thoroughgood) Marshall developed an early interest in education. A cum laude graduate of Lincoln University, he believed that education is the only assured means of promoting both individual and communal success. To Marshall and his contemporaries, education was a necessary means of reshaping the status of American race relations.

After graduating from Lincoln, Marshall enrolled in Howard University Law School, where he met and worked with his mentor, Charles Hamilton Houston. As dean of Howards law school Houston inculcated in his students a commitment to equal justice and a desire to challenge both legal and extralegal segregation. Paramount to that commitment was an emphasis on overturning the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson Supreme Court decision. That decision was significant because it created a legal doctrine known as separate but equal and provided the legal justification for segregation in many areas, including education and public accommodations. Marshall was influenced deeply by Houstons belief that he and other Howard graduates could force the United States to live up to its promise of equality for all Americans. Marshall graduated from Howard in 1933 and opened up a practice in Baltimore that focused on civil rights cases involving issues such as police brutality, civil disobedience, and housing discrimination. Marshall later assisted the Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in its civil rights efforts.

In 1935 Marshall won his first major desegregation case, Murray v. Pearson. Together with his cocounsel, Charles Hamilton Houston, Marshall represented the African American student Donald Gaines Murray, who had been denied admission to the University of Maryland Law School on the basis of its separate but equal admissions policy. Although Murray was a graduate of Amherst College with an impressive academic record, the state of Maryland defended his exclusion, arguing that black students could attend other schools. Marshall had been denied admission to the University of Maryland Law School for the same reason five years earlier. In ruling against the state of Maryland the court of appeals argued that constitutional compliance could not be left to the will of the state. Marshall helped secure the first state-level victory toward overturning Plessy.

Murray became the first in a long line of successes for Marshall. As legal counsel for the NAACP he launched a comprehensive assault on the legally sanctioned practice of exclusion. In 1940 he won his first Supreme Court case, Chambers v. Florida. Over the course of his career Marshall argued thirty-two cases before the Supreme Court; winning twenty-nine, making him the most successful attorney to argue before the Court. As the U.S. solicitor general, appointed by President Lyndon Johnson, Marshall won fourteen of nineteen cases he argued before the Supreme Court.

Marshall successfully argued the 1944 case Smith v. Allwright. The case was significant because it overturned the white primaries that were prominent in the South. Marshall helped reduce the gap between the principle and practice of democracy by opening up the political process to all Americans. He continued to attack the separate but equal doctrine in cases such as Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) that struck down racially restrictive covenants. In two cases in particular, McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents (1950) and Sweatt v. Painter (1950), he fought against segregation in public education. Sweatt found that the state of Texass creation of a separate law school for black students (now Texas Southern University) with inadequate facilities failed to meet the standard of substantive equality.

Although Marshall was successful in arguing the cases, he faced criticism from some black leaders who feared that his legal victories would jeopardize state funding for historically black colleges and universities. Marshall responded to the criticism by stating that we are convinced that it is impossible to have equality in a segregated system, no matter how elaborate we build the Jim Crow citadel and no matter whether we label it the Black University of Texas, The Negro University of Texas, Prairie View Institute, or a more fitting title, An Apology to Negroes for Denying them Their Constitutional Rights to Attend the University of Texas (Sweatt v. Painter, 1947).

BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION

The 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas was the culmination of Marshalls attack on the separate but equal doctrine. Unlike the prior cases Brown specifically outlawed racial segregation in American primary and secondary schools. Timing was critical for Marshalls agenda. Armed with his success in integrating institutions of higher education, Marshall and his NAACP colleagues sponsored five cases affirming their view that separate educational facilities were inherently inferior. Led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the Court reached a 90 decision affirming that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal (Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954). Although Brown did not result in the immediate desegregation of American public schools (see Brown II [1955], Swann v. CharlotteMecklenburg Board of Education [1971], and Milliken v. Bradley [1974]), it created a firm foundation for judicial support of the civil rights movement and its efforts to integrate all areas of public and private life.

Marshalls commitment to protecting the rights and freedoms of individuals was not restricted to the United States. He investigated allegations of racism in the U.S. armed forces in Japan and South Korea and later assisted in drafting the constitution of Ghana. Thurgood Marshall fundamentally redefined the relationship between citizens and their government by promoting equal rights under the law.

SEE ALSO Brown v. Board of Education, 1954 ; Brown v. Board of Education, 1955 ; Civil Liberties; Civil Rights Movement, U.S.; Desegregation; Education, USA; Houston, Charles Hamilton; Schooling in the USA; Separate-but-Equal; Supreme Court, U.S.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483, 495. 1954. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=347&invol=483.

Brown v. Board of Education, 349 U.S. 294. 1955. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgibin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=349&invol=294.

Chambers v. Florida, 309 U.S. 227. 1940. http://supreme.justia.com/us/309/227/case.html.

Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238. 1972. http://supreme.justia.com/us/408/238/case.html. McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents, 339 U.S. 637. 1950. http://supreme.justia.com/us/339/637/case.html.

Milliken v. Bradley, 418 U.S. 717. 1974. http://supreme.justia.com/us/418/717/case.html.

Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537. 1896. http://supreme.justia.com/us/163/537/case.html.

Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1. 1948. http://supreme.justia.com/us/334/1/case.html.

Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649. 1944. http://supreme.justia.com/us/321/649/case.html.

Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, 402 U.S. 1. 1971. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=402&invol=1.

Sweatt v. Painter, 339 U.S. 629. 1950. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=339&invol=629.

Warren, Earl. 1954. Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka 347 U.S. 483. 1954. http://www.nationalcenter.org/brown.html.

Williams, Juan. 2000. Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary. NY: Three Rivers Press.

Khalilah L. Brown-Dean

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Marshall, Thurgood

Thurgood Marshall

Born: July 2, 1908
Baltimore, Maryland
Died: January 24, 1993
Bethesda, Maryland

African American Supreme Court justice and lawyer

Thurgood Marshall was an American civil rights lawyer, solicitor general, and the first African American to serve as associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. During his decades-long law career, Marshall worked for civil rights for all Americans.

Early life and schooling

Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the second child born to Norma Arica Williams, an elementary school teacher, and William Canfield Marshall, a waiter and country club steward. His family enjoyed a comfortable, middle-class existence. Marshall's parents placed great emphasis on education, encouraging Thurgood and his brother to think and learn. Whenever Thurgood got into trouble at school, he was made to memorize sections of the U.S. Constitution. This well-intended punishment would serve him well in his later legal career.

Marshall attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, working a number of jobs to pay his tuition. He became more serious about his studies after being suspended briefly in his second year. After receiving his bachelor's degree, he enrolled in the law school at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in 1930 and graduated in 1933. While at Howard he was influenced by Charles Houston (18951950) and other legal scholars who developed and perfected methods for winning civil rights lawsuits.

Civil rights lawyer

Passing the Maryland bar exam (an exam that is given by the body that governs law and that must be passed before one is allowed to practice law) in 1933, Marshall practiced in Baltimore until 1938. He also served as counsel for the Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1935 he successfully attacked segregation (separation based on race) and discrimination (unequal treatment) in education when he participated in the desegregation of the University of Maryland Law School, to which he had been denied admission because of his race. Marshall became director of the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund in 1939. A year earlier he had been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the fourth, fifth, and eighth circuits, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

After winning twenty-nine of the thirty-two civil rights cases that he brought before the Supreme Court, Marshall earned the reputation of "America's outstanding civil rights lawyer." During the trials, he and his aides were often threatened with death in the lower courts of some southern states. Some of the important cases he argued became landmarks in the ending of segregation as well as constitutional precedents (examples to help justify similar decisions in the future) with their decisions. These include Smith v. Allwright (1944), which gave African Americans the right to vote in Democratic primary elections; Morgan v. Virginia (1946), which outlawed the state's policy of segregation as it applied to bus transportation between different states; and Sweatt v. Painter (1950), requiring the admission of an African American student to the University of Texas Law School. The most famous was Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which outlawed segregation in public schools and more or less ended the practice once and for all. In addition, the NAACP sent Marshall to Japan and Korea in 1951 to investigate complaints that African American soldiers convicted by U.S. Army courts-martial had not received fair trials. His appeal arguments led to reduced sentences for twenty-two of the forty soldiers.

Presidential appointments

President John F. Kennedy (19171963) nominated Marshall in September 1961 for judge of the Second Court of Appeals. Marshall was confirmed by the Senate a year later after undergoing extensive hearings. Three years later Marshall accepted an appointment from President Lyndon Johnson (19081973) as solicitor general. In this post Marshall successfully defended the United States in a number of important cases concerning industry. Through his office he now defended civil rights actions on behalf of the American people instead of (as in his NAACP days) as counsel strictly for African Americans. However, he personally did not argue cases in which he had previously been involved.

In 1967 President Johnson nominated Marshall as associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. Marshall's nomination was strongly opposed by several southern senators on the Judiciary Committee, but in the end he was confirmed by a vote of sixty-nine to eleven. He took his seat on October 2, 1967, becoming the first African American justice to sit on the Supreme Court. During his time on the Supreme Court, he remained a strong believer in individual rights and never wavered in his devotion to end discrimination. He was a key part of the Court's progressive majority that voted to uphold a woman's right to abortion (a woman's right to end a pregnancy). His majority opinions (statements issued by a judge) covered such areas as the environment, the right of appeal of persons convicted of drug charges, failure to report for and submit to service in the U.S. armed forces, and the rights of Native Americans.

Later years

The years when Ronald Reagan (1911) and George Bush (1924) occupied the White House were a time of sadness for Marshall, as the influence of liberals (those open to and interested in change) on the Supreme Court declined. In 1987 Marshall negatively criticized President Reagan in an interview with Ebony as "the bottom" in terms of his commitment to African Americans. He later told the magazine, "I wouldn't do the job of dogcatcher for Ronald Reagan." Marshall viewed the actions of the conservative (those interested in maintaining traditions) Republican presidents as a step back to the days when "we (African Americans) didn't really have a chance." Marshall was greatly disappointed when his friend and liberal colleague (coworker), Justice William J. Brennan Jr. (19061997), retired from the Supreme Court because of to ill health. Marshall vowed to serve until he was 110; however, he was finally forced by illness to give up his seat in 1991. He died in 1993 at the age of eighty-four.

Justice Marshall had been born during the administration of Theodore Roosevelt (18581919) but had lived to see African Americans rise to positions of power and influence in America. To a great degree, the progress of African Americans toward equal opportunity was aided by the legal victories won by him. By his death, he was considered a hero. His numerous honors included more than twenty honorary degrees from educational institutions in America and abroad. The University of Maryland Law School was named in his honor, as were a variety of elementary and secondary schools around the nation. During his life he received the NAACP's Spingarn Medal (1946), the Negro Newspaper Publisher Association's Russwurm Medal (1948), and the Living Makers of Negro History Award of the lota Phi Lambda Sorority (1950). His name was inscribed on the honor roll of the Schomburg History Collection of New York for the advancement of race relations. He enjoyed family life with his second wife and their two sons, who themselves pursued careers in public life. Dignified and solemn in manner, but blessed with a sense of humor, Marshall's career was an example of the power and possibility of American democracy.

For More Information

Arthur, Joe. The Story of Thurgood Marshall: Justice for All. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, 1995.

Hitzeroth, Deborah, and Sharon Leon. Thurgood Marshall. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1997.

Tushnet, Mark V. Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court 19361961. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Tushnet, Mark V. Making Constitutional Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court 19611991. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Williams, Juan. Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary. New York: Times Books, 1998.

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Marshall, Thurgood

MARSHALL, THURGOOD

Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, saw law as a catalyst for social change. For nearly 60 years, as both a lawyer and a jurist, Marshall worked to dismantle the system of segregation and improve the legal and social position of minorities.

Marshall was born July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, the son of a Pullman porter and a schoolteacher. He was a graduate of Lincoln University, a small, all-black college in Pennsylvania, and Howard University Law School in Washington, D.C. At Howard, Marshall excelled under the guidance of Vice Dean charles hamilton houston, the first African American to win a case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Houston encouraged his students to become not just lawyers but "social engineers" who could use the legal system to improve society. Marshall graduated first in his law class in 1933.

Marshall's attendance at predominantly black Howard University illustrates the barriers faced by African Americans during the early twentieth century. Although Marshall wished to attend law school at the University of Maryland (a public institution in his home town of Baltimore), he was prohibited by law from doing so because of his race. This injustice helped set Marshall on a course of opposing all forms of official segregation that denied equal opportunities to African Americans.

"The government [that the framers of the Constitution] devised required several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, that we hold as fundamental today."
—Thurgood Marshall

After law school, Marshall set up a practice in Baltimore, representing indigent clients in civil rights cases. In 1936, his mentor Houston offered him a position with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (naacp), and in 1940, Marshall became director of the naacp legal defense and educational fund, a position he held until 1961. Determined to eliminate segregation, Marshall coordinated a nationwide campaign to integrate higher education. He filed several successful lawsuits against public graduate and professional schools that refused to accept African-American students. These suits paved the way for similar cases at the high school and elementary school levels. Marshall also journeyed throughout the deep South, traveling fifty thousand miles a year to fight jim crow laws (a series of laws that provided for racial segregation in the South) and to represent criminal defendants.

Marshall argued 32 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and won 29 of them. No doubt his most famous and far-reaching triumph before the High Court was brown v. board of education of topeka, kansas, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S. Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873 (1954). In that case, the father of African-American student Linda Brown sued the school board of Topeka, Kansas, over its segregation policy. Brown was required by law to attend an all African-American school several blocks from her home even though an all white public school was located in her own neighborhood. Under Kansas law, cities of more than 15,000 people, such as Topeka, could choose to operate segregated schools. Marshall argued that these segregated schools, defended by officials as "separate but equal," were unconstitutional.

The separate-but-equal doctrine originated in plessy v. ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, 16 S. Ct. 1138, 41 L. Ed. 256 (1896), a case allowing segregated public accommodations for whites

and blacks. In a plainspoken argument, Marshall dismissed as fallacy the notion that segregated schools offered the same educational experiences to black and white students. Sociological and psychological studies demonstrated that black children were in fact harmed by the policy of school segregation. The students' self-esteem was damaged and their future diminished when they were forced to accept inadequate facilities, equipment, and educational opportunities. Marshall argued that the only purpose segregation served was to perpetuate the myth of African-Americans' inferiority. A unanimous Court agreed and struck down the separate-but-equal doctrine, a

momentous victory for Marshall, affecting public schools in twenty-one states.

Marshall was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1961, and served there until 1965 when he was named solicitor general for the United States. He was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967 by President lyndon b. johnson and served as an associate justice for 24 years.

While on the Court, Marshall was known more for his impassioned dissents than for his majority opinions. In particular, as a staunch opponent of capital punishment, he regularly voiced his disagreement with the majority in death penalty cases. He was also a firm backer of affirmative action and contributed one of his most famous dissents in regents of the university of california v. bakke, 438 U.S. 265, 98 S. Ct. 2733, 57 L. Ed. 2d 750 (1978). In that case, Marshall criticized the high court's ruling that a public medical school's policy of reserving 16 of 100 spots for minority students was unconstitutional. Marshall also dissented in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1, 93 S. Ct. 1278, 36 L. Ed. 2d 16 (1973), disagreeing with the majority view that a Texas property tax system used to fund public education was acceptable, even though it allowed wealthier districts to provide a better school system for students in those districts than less wealthy districts could provide. Marshall objected strongly to the property tax arrangement, claiming that it deprived poor children of an equal education.

Marshall wrote the majority opinion in Amalgamated Food Employees Union v. Logan Valley Plaza, 391 U.S. 308, 88 S. Ct. 1601, 20 L. Ed. 2d 603 (1968), in which the Court declared that a shopping center was a public forum from which picketers could not be barred by private owners.

Marshall retired from the Court in 1991, but continued his criticism of government policies that were detrimental to African Americans or other disenfranchised groups.

Marshall died on January 24, 1993, in Bethesda, Maryland. Upon Marshall's death, nearly 20,000 mourners filed by his casket during the 12 hours it lay in state in the Great Hall of the U.S. Supreme Court.

further readings

Bland, Randall Walton. 2001. Justice Thurgood Marshall: Crusader for Liberalism: His Judicial Biography (1908–1993). Bethesda, Md.: Academica Press.

Clemon, U.W., and Bryan K. Fair. 2003. "Lawyers, Civil Disobedience, and Equality in the Twenty-First Century: Lessons from Two American Heroes. Alabama Law Review, 54 (spring): 959–83.

Kennedy, Randall. 1999. "Thurgood's Coming": Long Before He Became the Nation's First Black Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall Was a Lawyer on the Razor's Edge of American Social Struggle. American Lawyer 21 (December): 94.

Maloy, Richard H.W. 1999. "Thurgood Marshall and the Holy Grail—the Due Process Jurisprudence of a Consummate Jurist." Pepperdine Law Review 26 (January): 289–352.

Tushnet, Mark V. 1997. Making Constitutional Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1961–1991. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

Williams, Juan. Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary. 2000. New York: Times Books.

cross-references

Civil Rights Movement; Integration; School Desegregation.

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Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) was an American civil rights lawyer, solicitor general, and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thurgood Marshall was born on July 2, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland, where his mother was a teacher and his father a headwaiter and country club steward. Parental qualities of thoroughness, excellence, justice, and equality, along with humility, pride, and aggressiveness, early impressed him. Marshall attended Lincoln University, where he received his bachelor's degree cum laude, and then enrolled in the law school at Howard University in 1930, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1933. While at Howard he came under the influence of Charles Houston and the group of legal scholars who developed and perfected techniques and procedures for civil rights litigation.

Passing the Maryland bar in 1933, Marshall practiced in Baltimore until 1938, serving also as counsel for the Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1935 he successfully attacked segregation and discrimination in education when he participated in the desegregation of the University of Maryland Law School (where he had been denied admission because of race). Marshall became director of the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund in 1939. A year earlier he had been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the fourth, fifth, and eighth circuits, and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Winning 29 of the 32 civil rights cases which he and his aides argued before the Supreme Court (and sometimes threatened with death as he argued cases in the lower courts of some southern states), Marshall earned the reputation of "America's outstanding civil rights lawyer." Some of the important cases he argued, which became landmarks in the destruction of segregation, as well as constitutional precedents with their decisions, include Smith v. Allwright (1944), establishing the rights of African-Americans to vote in Democratic primary elections; Morgan v. Virginia (1946), outlawing the state's segregation policy as applied to interstate bus transportation; Shelley v. Kramer (1948), outlawing restrictive covenants in housing; and Sweatt v. Painter (1950), requiring admission of an African-American student to the University of Texas Law School. The most famous was Brown vs. Board of Education (1954), which outlawed segregation in public schools and for all practical purposes "sounded the death knell for all forms of legally sanctioned segregation."

The NAACP sent Marshall to Japan and Korea in 1951 to investigate complaints that African-American soldiers convicted by U. S. Army courts-martial had not received fair trials. His appeal arguments got the sentences of 22 of the 40 men reduced.

President John Kennedy nominated Marshall on Sept. 23, 1961, for judge of the Second Court of Appeals; he was confirmed by the Senate a year later after undergoing strenuous hearings. Three years later Marshall accepted President Lyndon Johnson's appointment as solicitor general. In this post Marshall successfully defended the United States in a number of important cases concerning industry. Of no little interest was the fact that through his office he now defended civil rights actions as advocate for the American people instead of (as in his NAACP days) as counsel strictly for African-Americans; however, he personally did not argue cases in which he had previously been involved.

In 1967 President Johnson nominated Marshall as associate justice to the U. S. Supreme Court. Marshall's nomination was strenuously opposed by several Southern senators on the Judiciary Committee but nevertheless he was confirmed by a vote of 69 to 11. He took his seat on October 2, 1967, and was the first African-American justice to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court.

During his nearly quarter-century on the Supreme Court, he remained a strong advocate of individual rights and never wavered in his devotion to ending discrimination. He formed a key part of the Court's progressive majority which voted to uphold a woman's right to abortion. His majority opinions covered such areas as ecology, the right of appeal of persons convicted of narcotic charges, failure to report for and submit to induction into the U. S. Armed Forces, obscenity, and the rights of Native Americans.

The Reagan-Bush years in the White House and the slow dwindling of the liberal influence on the Court was a time of sadness for Marshall. Always tart tongued, in 1987 Marshall dismissed President Reagan in an interview with Ebony as "the bottom" in terms of his commitment to black Americans. He later told the magazine: "I wouldn't do the job of dogcatcher for Ronald Reagan." There is no question that Marshall viewed the actions of the conservative Republican presidents as a throwback to the days when "we (African-Americans) didn't really have a chance." Marshall was keenly disappointed when his friend and liberal colleague, Justice William J. Brennan Jr., retired from the Court due to ill heath. Marshall vowed to serve until he was 110 and then die "shot by a jealous husband." However, suffering heart attacks, pneumonia, blood clots, and glaucoma, Marshall himself was forced by illness to give up his seat in 1991. He died in 1993 at the age of 84.

Justice Marshall had been born during Theodore Roosevelt's administration but lived to see African-Americans rise to positions of power and influence in America. To no small degree, the progress of black Americans toward equal opportunity turned upon the legal victories won by him. By his death, even in retirement, he had risen to the stature of mythic hero. His numerous honors included more than 20 honorary degrees from educational institutions in America and abroad. The University of Maryland Law School was named in his honor, as were a variety of elementary and secondary schools around the nation. During his life he received the NAACP's Spingarn Medal (1946), the Negro Newspaper Publisher Association's Russwurm Medal (1948), and the Living Makers of Negro History Award of the lota Phi Lambda Sorority (1950), and his name was inscribed on the honor roll of the Schomburg History Collection of New York for the advancement of race relations. He enjoyed the family life of his second wife and their two sons, Thurgood Jr. and John, who themselves pursued careers in public life. Marshall's first wife died in 1955. A little over 6 feet tall and dignified and solemn in manner, but endowed with a sense of humor, Marshall portrayed homely virtues and a deep reverence for God. Unique as his career was, it epitomized the potential of American democracy.

Further Reading

For periodical articles dealing with Marshall's life and career, see Newsweek (Sept. 21, 1987 and Aug. 6, 1990). Of the numerous books on Marshall's life and career, a well-received analysis was contained in the twin volumes Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court 1936-1961 (1994) and Making Constitutional Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court 1961-1991 (1997) by Mark V. Thusnet. An early biography of Marshall is Lewis H. Fenderson, ed., Thurgood Marshall (1969). □

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Marshall, Thurgood

Thurgood Marshall, 1908–93, U.S. lawyer and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1967–91), b. Baltimore. He received his law degree from Howard Univ. in 1933. In 1936 he joined the legal staff of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. As its chief counsel (1938–61), he argued more than 30 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, successfully challenging racial segregation, most notably in higher education. His presentation of the argument against the "separate but equal" doctrine achieved its greatest impact with the landmark decision handed down in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954). His appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1961 was opposed by some Southern senators and was not confirmed until 1962. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to the Supreme Court two years later; he was the first black to sit on the high court, where he consistently supported the position taken by those challenging discrimination based on race or sex, opposed the death penalty, and supported the rights of criminal defendants. His support for affirmative action led to his strong dissent in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978). As appointments by Presidents Nixon and Reagan changed the outlook of the Court, Marshall found himself increasingly in the minority; in retirement he was outspoken in his criticism of the court.

See M. G. Long, ed., Marshalling Justice: The Early Civil Rights Letters of Thurgood Marshall (2011); biography by J. Williams (1998); studies by R. W. Bland (1973) and H. Ball (1999); R. Kluger, Simple Justice (1976); W. Haygood, Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America (2015).

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Marshall, Thurgood

Marshall, Thurgood (1908–93) US lawyer and Supreme Court justice. As counsel (1938–62) for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), he played a key role in obtaining US Supreme Court judgments against racial segregation in schools. He was appointed solicitor general (1965) and became the first African-American associate justice of the US Supreme Court (1967–91).

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