Thurgood Marshall Essay Research Paper THURGOOD MARSHALL

Thurgood Marshall Essay, Research Paper

THURGOOD MARSHALL, associate justice

Mr. Civil Rights

1) Life ?til Death: 1908 – 1993 (specific date insignificant)

Dates on Supreme Court: 1967 – 1991

2) Great grandfather was slave…Grandfather, Isaiah Williams, organized demonstrations to protest police brutality against African Americans…therefore, from young age, Thurgood felt responsibility to live up to legendary deeds of ancestors

Thurgood and father went to courthouse to watch white lawyers and white judges argue cases involving mostly African American defendants…

Father always discussed court cases at dinner table…Father once said that one day discrimination would be outlawed ?cause U.S. Constitution promised it, and he had faith in the Constitution

Growing up…Thurgood had to use restrooms labeled “colored”

1930: applied to University of Maryland Law School…denied admission due to skin color

Hocutt v. The University of North Carolina: Hastie (Thurgood’s professor) argued that Hocutt cannot be denied admission based upon race using 14th amendment..this case brought about new way to fight civil rights cases…this case, which Thurgood helped on, only strengthened his determination to fight injustice

Thurgood lost case involving man in robbery and murder…man was executed and this increased his opposition to the death penalty even more

Lost Seventh grade student v. Baltimore County Board of Education: Maryland court ruled that school had right to reject student based on skin color

3) Began career as counsel to Baltimore branch of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

1936: joined national legal staff

1938: became Chief Legal Officer

1961: JFK appoints Marshall to U.S. Court of Appeals for 2nd Circuit

1965: LBJ appoints Marshall Solicitor General of U.S.

1967: After nomination from LBJ, Marshall’s appointment to U.S. Supreme Court confirmed by 69-11 vote, opposition were Southern senators

4) Liberal, whose commitment to equality expanded through the years

“…favored liberal, expansive holdings on constitutional rights, especially those relating to individual liberties and the rights of racial minorities. Together with Justice Brennan, whom he frequently joined in dissent, Marshall was half of the most consistently liberal pair of the recent Court.” (Galub and Lankevich, p.258)

5) Bee not sure on this but he try…Nixon, Ford, Bush, and Reagan were Republican presidents in office when Marshall was justice…they appointed conservative justices most of time…Marshall usually wrote dissenting opinions…me guess court was conservative

6) William Rehnquist John Paul Stevens

William Brennan (Marshall pal in voting most of time) Sandra Day O’ Conner

Antonin Scalia Harry Blackmun

7) 1935: Wins first major civil rights case, Murray v. Pearson

1944: Wins Smith v. Allwright, outlaws Texas Democratic Party’s “white primary”

1950: Sweatt v. Painter and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regeants, “separate but equal” facilities for African American professionals and graduate students in state universities are unconstitutional

1954: Wins Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, declares racial segregation in U.S. public schools unconstitutional

1972: Furman v. Georgia: did not vote with majority…said eath penalty was most often against minorities and the poor

1973: Roe v.Wade: voted with majority…anti-abortion laws forced women to bear children who would suffer in misery and poverty

1978: Regents of the University of California v. Bakke: did not vote with majority…favored affirmative action programs

8) In the ?hood when Thurgood was growing up, lighter skin was better than darker skin…

Although his parents were mulattos and, therefore, his skin was light, he refused to take part in black-against-black prejudice

Accepted cases even if clients could not pay…civil rights, not money, was reason he in business

“Equal means getting the same thing, at the same time and in the same place.”

William’s directions to Thurgood:

“If anybody calls you a nigger, you not only got my permission to fight him – you got my orders.”

First African American Solicitor General and Justice to sit on the Court

Waiter on railroad: U.S. Senator wants service and keeps calling Thurgood ?nigger’…His father hears this and said, “Thurgood, you are a disgrace to the colored people!” Thurgood didn’t mind much because when Senator was done he left $20 tips… “Any time you wanna call me ?nigger,’ you just put your $20 on this table. And you can keep doing it all day. But the second you run outta them 20’s, I’m gonna bust you in the nose.”

9) Clarence Thomas replaced Thurgood Marshall


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