Difference between revisions of "Thurgood Marshall"

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'''Thurgood Marshall''' was born on July 2, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland. He was born '''Thoroughgood Marshall''', but he shortened it to '''Thurgood''' while in elementary school.  
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'''Thurgood Marshall''' (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993) was the first African American to serve on the [[United States Supreme Court]]. He was nominated to the court by [[Democratic]] President [[Lyndon Johnson]] in 1967.
  
Mr. Marshall was well known for dedicating his life to studying the rule of law, as well as fighting racism and discrimination. He faced racism on a regular basis, even being denied acceptance into the University of Maryland Law School because he was African American. He was able to integrate this school by winning a lawsuit in ''Murray v. Pearson'', which prevented another African American student from studying there on account of race.
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Marshall supported ''[[Roe v. Wade]]'', which declared [[abortion]]-on-demand to be a constitutional right, thereby leading to more than 1 million [[abortion]]s annually in the [[United States]].
  
Mr. Marshall worked hard to chip away at the doctrine of "[[separate but equal]]" created by ''[[Plessy v. Ferguson]]''. In 1938, he was appointed by Charles Hamilton Houston, chief legal counsel for the [[NAACP]] at the time, to serve as the leader of NAACP lawyers to argue in civil rights cases before the Supreme Court. Between 1938 and 1961, he argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court and won 29 of them. Some cases include ''Smith v. Allwright'' (1944), which extended voting rights and desegregation by holding that primary elections cannot be restricted to any race. Other cases include ''Morgan v. Virginia'' (1946), which was regarding state segregation laws for interstate buses. Mr. Marshall argued in this case that the laws were unconstitutional because they violated the Interstate Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, successfully overturning them. In 1950, in ''Sweatt v. Painter'', he was able to chip away at ''Plessy'' even more when the Supreme Court ruled that state law schools must accept applicants regardless of race, even if "separate but equal" schools exist.
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Marshall generally favored giving more rights to suspected criminals and he opposed to the [[death penalty]], believing it to be unconstitutional.
  
However, Mr. Marshall's greatest Supreme Court victory was ''[[Brown v. Board of Education]]'', which outlawed segregation in education, dissolved the doctrine of "separate but equal," overturning the ''Plessy'' decision, and extended many of the rulings of previous cases he won before the Supreme Court. The ruling thrilled African Americans, as well as people of all other races. The ''Chicago Defender'', an African American newspaper, declared after the ruling, "Neither the atom bomb nor the hydrogen bomb will ever be as meaningful to our democracy as the unanimous declaration of the Supreme Court that racial segregation violates the spirit and the letter of our Constitution." <ref>Tolerance.org: Teaching Tolerance: BROWN V. BOARD: An American Legacy http://www.tolerance.org/teach/magazine/features.jsp?ar=485</ref>
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When he retired, his seat was filled by Justice [[Clarence Thomas]].
 
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Years later, in 1961, Mr. Marshall was appointed by then President [[John F. Kennedy]] to the [[US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit]]. In 1965, he was chosen by then President [[Lyndon B. Johnson]] to be US solicitor general. Two years later, in 1967, President Johnson appointed him to the Supreme Court of the United States, becoming the first African American ever to be an Associate Justice there.
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Mr. Marshall served as Associate Justice from 1967 to 1991. He was known for his very liberal positions. Like most liberal Justices, he favored "loose constructionism," which meant a loose interpretation of the Constitution to expand civil rights and liberties. Some of his majority opinions include ''Benton v. Maryland'' (1969), which protected a man named John Dalmer Benton from double jeopardy after facing two trials on larceny, finding that his second trial constituted [[double jeopardy]], a violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause in the Fifth Constitution. Another majority opinion in which he wrote was in ''Dunn v. Blumstein'' (1972), in which he expanded voting and traveling rights. He was also a supporter of abortion rights, joining the majority opinion in ''[[Roe v. Wade]]'',  was a staunch supporter of civil rights, and extended rights to accused persons. He voted alongside Justice [[William Brennan]] on a number of cases, including the [[death penalty]]. Both believed in both ''[[Furman v. Georgia]]'' and ''[[Gregg v. Georgia]]'' that the death penalty inherently violated the ban on "cruel and unusual punishment" in the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution.
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Mr. Marshall's health deteriorated in 1991, so he retired from the Supreme Court then. He was replaced by [[Clarence Thomas]], another African American. In 1992, he was awarded the [[Liberty Medal]] for extending individual rights while serving in the Supreme Court. He died on January 24, 1993, in Bethesda, Maryland. He was buried in [[Arlington National Cemetery]]. At his memorial service, a copy of the ''[[Brown v. Board of Education]]'' ruling was placed beside his casket, on which an admirer wrote, "You shall always be remembered."<ref>Fanfare for an Uncommon Man - TIME http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,977658-1,00.html</ref>
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==References==
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{{reflist|2}}
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[[category:United States Supreme Court Justices]]
 
[[category:United States Supreme Court Justices]]

Revision as of 01:49, 4 April 2008

Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993) was the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court. He was nominated to the court by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson in 1967.

Marshall supported Roe v. Wade, which declared abortion-on-demand to be a constitutional right, thereby leading to more than 1 million abortions annually in the United States.

Marshall generally favored giving more rights to suspected criminals and he opposed to the death penalty, believing it to be unconstitutional.

When he retired, his seat was filled by Justice Clarence Thomas.