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First African American Supreme Court Justice 1967 - History

First African American Supreme Court Justice 1967 - History



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Thurgood Marshall became the first African American member of the Supreme Court (after the Senate confirmed Johnson's nomination of Marshall to the court). Marshall had been the NAACP lawyer who argued Brown v. Board of Education in front of the Supreme Court in 1954.

Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore Maryland on July 2, 1908. His family descended from slaves on both sides. His Mother was a teacher and his Father was a railroad worker. His Father took Thurgood and his brothers to listen to court cases. Later they would debate those cases and current events over dinner. Marshall went to public elementary and high school and wen ton to Lincoln University a Black College in Pennsylvania. Marshall went on to Howard University School of law were he finished first in his class.

After graduating law school Marshall established his own law firm. He began working for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP in 1934. In 1936 he became par to their staff. One of his early victories was in the case of Murray v Pearson, and African American student who wanted to attend the then segregated University of Maryland Law School. He successfully argued that the alternative all African American law school was not has good as the University of Maryland school and thus did not fit the Plessey case of “separate but equal.”

At the age of 32 he one his first Supreme Court case Chambers v Florida. Marshall founded and headed the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.. He successfully argued many cases in front of the Supreme Court. The most memorable was Brown v Board of Education. That victory ended Separate but Equal as a legal justification for discrimination and formed the basis of integrating schools throughout the US.

President Kennedy appointed Marshall to the United States Court of Appeals, and President Johnson appointed him the Solicitor General of the United States. As Solicitor General he won 14 out of the 19 cases he argued.

On June 13 1967 President Johnson nominated Marshall to the US Supreme Court. He was confirmed by a Senate Vote of 69-11. On October 2 he was sworn in has the 96th Associate Justice in history.

Marshall served on the court for 24 years. He was a strong liberal voice on the court and wrote many opinions in the areas of civil rights and criminal procedure. Marshall retired in 1991.



Biography of Thurgood Marshall, First Black Supreme Court Justice

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    Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908–January 24, 1993), whose great-grandparents were enslaved, was the first Black justice appointed to the United States Supreme Court, where he served from 1967 to 1991. Earlier in his career, Marshall was a pioneering civil rights attorney who successfully argued the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, a major step in the fight to desegregate American schools. The 1954 Brown decision is considered one of the most significant civil rights victories of the 20th century.

    Fast Facts: Thurgood Marshall

    • Known For: First Black Supreme Court justice, landmark civil rights lawyer
    • Also Known As: Thoroughgood Marshall, Great Dissenter
    • Born: July 2, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland
    • Parents: William Canfield Marshall, Norma Arica
    • Died: January 24, 1993 in Bethesda, Maryland
    • Education: Lincoln University, Pennsylvania (BA), Howard University (LLB)
    • Published Works: Thurgood Marshall: His Speeches, Writings, Arguments, Opinions, and Reminiscences (The Library of Black America series) (2001)
    • Awards and Honors: The Thurgood Marshall Award, established in 1992 by the American Bar Association, is presented annually to a recipient to recognize "long-term contributions by members of the legal profession to the advancement of civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights in the United States," the ABA says. Marshall received the inaugural award in 1992.
    • Spouse(s): Cecilia Suyat Marshall (m. 1955–1993), Vivian Burey Marshall (m. 1929–1955)
    • Children: John W. Marshall, Thurgood Marshall, Jr.
    • Notable Quote: "It is interesting to me that the very people. that would object to sending their white children to school with Negroes are eating food that has been prepared, served, and almost put in their mouths by the mothers of those children."

    This Day in Black History: Aug. 30, 1967

    Distinguished civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall made history again on Aug. 30, 1967, when he became the first African-American confirmed to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Before his nomination, he had successfully argued against school segregation in the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education and won nearly 30 other cases before the high court.

    After the Senate vote of 69-11, with 20 mostly Southern Democrats abstaining, Marshall was sworn in two days later.

    "I believe it is the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place," said President Lyndon Johnson, who in 1961 had unsuccessfully tried to seat Marshall on the U.S. Court of Appeals.

    BET Politics - Your source for the latest news, photos and videos illuminating key issues and personalities in African-American political life, plus commentary from some of our liveliest voices. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.


    Justice Thurgood Marshall: First African American Supreme Court Justice

    On June 13, 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated distinguished civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall to be the first African American justice to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. Marshall had already made his mark in American law, having won 29 of the 32 cases he argued before the Supreme Court, most notably the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), which ruled school segregation unconstitutional. Marshall had also been appointed to the Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 and U.S. Solicitor General by President Johnson in 1965.

    As an associate justice on the highest court in America, Marshall continued his lifelong fight against discrimination to protect the constitutional rights of the most vulnerable Americans. He retired from the Supreme Court in 1991 after 24 years on the bench and died on January 24, 1993.

    In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s June 13, 1967 nomination of civil rights lawyer Thurgood Marshall to be the first African American justice to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, the National Archives in Washington, DC will display a facsimile of the nomination and Justice Marshall’s opinion in the landmark affirmative action case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978) in which the Court upheld the constitutionality of considering race in college admissions decisions. The documents was on display from June 8 – July 26, 2017.

    The National Archives Museum’s “Featured Document” exhibit is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Ford Motor Company Fund.

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    Court Cases

    In 1934, Marshall began working for the Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1936, Marshall moved to New York City to work full time as legal counsel for the NAACP. Over several decades, Marshall argued and won a variety of cases to strike down many forms of legalized racism, helping to inspire the American civil rights movement.

    Murray v. Pearson

    In one of Marshall&aposs first cases — which he argued alongside his mentor, Charles Houston — he defended another well-qualified undergraduate, Donald Murray, who like himself had been denied entrance to the University of Maryland Law School. Marshall and Houston won Murray v. Pearson in January 1936, the first in a long string of cases designed to undermine the legal basis for de jure racial segregation in the United States.

    Chambers v. Florida

    Marshall&aposs first victory before the Supreme Court came in Chambers v. Florida (1940), in which he successfully defended four Black men who had been convicted of murder on the basis of confessions coerced from them by police.

    Smith v. Allwright

    Another crucial Supreme Court victory for Marshall came in the 1944 case of Smith v. Allwright, in which the Court struck down the Democratic Party&aposs use of white people-only primary elections in various Southern states.

    Brown v. Board of Education

    The great achievement of Marshall&aposs career as a civil-rights lawyer was his victory in the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of a group of Black parents in Topeka, Kansas, whose children were forced to attend all-Black segregated schools. Through Brown v. Board, one of the most important cases of the 20th century, Marshall challenged head-on the legal underpinning of racial segregation, the doctrine of "separate but equal" established by the 1896 Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson.

    On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal," and therefore racial segregation of public schools violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

    While enforcement of the Court&aposs ruling proved to be uneven and painfully slow, Brown v. Board provided the legal foundation, and much of the inspiration, for the American civil rights movement that unfolded over the next decade. At the same time, the case established Marshall as one of the most successful and prominent lawyers in America.

    Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court justice, played a vital part in ending legal segregation during the Civil Rights Movement through the landmark 1954 case Brown v. Board of Education. 

    Photo: Stock Montage/Getty Images


    The First Black Justice in the U.S. Supreme Court: Thurgood Marshall

    Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, who was also instrumental in the ending of legal/judicial segregation in the U.S. Courts. Serving from October 1967 to 1991 October, Marshall entered the historical records as the first black Justice of the court, and the 96 th Justice overall. He was a prominent and firm advocate for civil rights.

    Born on 2 nd July, 1908, in Baltimore, Maryland, Marshall attended the Howard University for his Bachelor’s Degree in Law. Thurgood earned a very memorable place in the U.S. history from a perspective of two key accomplishments or achievements. First, he became a legal counselor to the NAACP (National Association for the Advancements of Colored People) where he utilized his position at the judiciary to advocate for equality for the African-Americans. Marshall invested his legal knowledge and skills in the guidance of the litigation that put a stop to the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow segregation. Thurgood Marshall, in 1954, won the “Board of Education V. Brown Case,” in which the Supreme Court ended the widespread racial segregation within the legal institutions and public schools.

    Between 1934 and 1962, serving as the NAACP Attorney, Thurgood traveled nationwide on her move to represent all sorts of clients with disputes involving the issues race and racial injustices. He dealt with trials from common/petty crimes to appellate advocacy, thereby raising the most critical concerns the constitutional law. His steadfast advocacy for civil rights and equality ultimately earned him a nickname “Mr. Civil Rights.” Marshall argued in about 32 court cases before the Supreme Court, succeeding in 29 of them. Some of the famous cases he prevailed in included the Allwright v. Smith of 1944, which invalidated the notion of “White Primary.” Another case was that of Kraemer v. Shelley of 1948, which the state courts from reinforcing the racially-restrictive real-estate covenants. Finally, Thurgood Marshall advocated and succeeded in the Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled and invalidated the state-enforced racial segregation among the public schools (this practice was found to be unconstitutional).

    In his second achievement, serving as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and the first African-American Justice, he crafted a distinguishing jurisprudence that was characterized by uncompromising liberalism. This created an unusual attentiveness to the practical considerations beyond the formalities of the law hence, there was an identifiable willingness to the dissent. He served at the U.S. Court of Appeal for the 2 ND Circuit upon his appointment by President J. F. Kennedy. He was later, in 1965, appointed as the Solicitor General by President Johnson Lyndon. In 1967, he was nominated by President Johnson to the U.S. Supreme Court, and later, in October, approved by the Senate.

    Justice Thurgood Marshall was an outspoken civil rights advocate in the courts that were dominated by conservatives. Throughout his two and a half decades tenure, he voted to uphold the racial and gender affirmative practice policies in several cases and succeeded in them. Marshall died on 24 th January, 1993 of heart failure, leaving a legacy of his firm advocacy for equality and civil rights in the American history.

    Read more of the original story via:

    Marshall, Thurgood Tushnet, Mark V. (Editor) and Kennedy, Randall (Forward by). (2001). Thurgood Marshall: His Speeches, Writings, Arguments, Opinions and Reminiscences. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated – Lawrence Hill Books.


    August 30, 1967: Thurgood Marshall, First Black Supreme Court Justice

    On August 30, 1967, the United States Senate confirmed Thurgood Marshall as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by a vote of 69-11, the first African-American so confirmed.

    Digging Deeper

    Marshall, formerly the Chief Counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and appointed a Federal Appeals Court judge by President Kennedy in 1961, had been working as United States Solicitor General (appointed by President Johnson in 1965), the first African-American to hold that position.

    It was as counsel for the NAACP that Marshall earned his reputation, successfully arguing in front of the Supreme Court the epic Brown v. Board of Education case of 1954, as well as several other cases before our highest court. Marshall definitely had the credentials for appointment to the Supreme Court, perhaps some of the best ever.

    President Johnson predicted that many black baby boys would be named Thurgood in honor of the historic appointment. Interestingly, Marshall enjoyed a cordial relationship with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, a known enemy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Marshall served until 1991 when he retired, and died 2 years later of heart disease at the age of 84. Numerous schools, memorials and the like are named in his honor, and the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport also bears his name (since 2005). In a political twist, Marshall was replaced on the Supreme Court by Clarence Thomas, the second African-American Supreme Court Justice, appointed as a conservative justice by a Republican President (GHW Bush). Ebony Magazine has called Marshall “The most important black man of this century.”

    President Johnson was not quite on target with his prediction of so many babies being named “Thurgood” as the name has never broken into the top 1000 names in the US (although as a last name it is in the 29th percentile). The name stems from a Puritan origin referring to virtue, perhaps “thoroughly good,” certainly a good description of this great Justice. In fact, his actual name at birth was “Thoroughgood.” Marshall grew up in Baltimore and attended Lincoln University, and later the Howard University School of Law, where he graduated 1st in his class.

    Question for students (and subscribers): How do you rank Thurgood Marshall among important African-American men? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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    This Day in Black History: Aug. 30, 1967

    Distinguished civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall made history again on Aug. 30, 1967, when he became the first African-American confirmed to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Before his nomination, he had successfully argued against school segregation in the groundbreaking Brown v. Board of Education and won nearly 30 other cases before the high court.

    After the Senate vote of 69-11, with 20 mostly Southern Democrats abstaining, Marshall was sworn in two days later.

    "I believe it is the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place," said President Lyndon Johnson, who in 1961 had unsuccessfully tried to seat Marshall on the U.S. Court of Appeals.

    BET Politics - Your source for the latest news, photos and videos illuminating key issues and personalities in African-American political life, plus commentary from some of our liveliest voices. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.


    Thurgood Marshall

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    Thurgood Marshall, originally Thoroughgood Marshall, (born July 2, 1908, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.—died January 24, 1993, Bethesda), lawyer, civil rights activist, and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1967–91), the Court’s first African American member. As an attorney, he successfully argued before the Court the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), which declared unconstitutional racial segregation in American public schools.

    Marshall was the son of William Canfield Marshall, a railroad porter and a steward at an all-white country club, and Norma Williams Marshall, an elementary school teacher. He graduated with honours from Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) in 1930. After being rejected by the University of Maryland Law School because he was not white, Marshall attended Howard University Law School he received his degree in 1933, ranking first in his class. At Howard he was the protégé of Charles Hamilton Houston, who encouraged Marshall and other law students to view the law as a vehicle for social change.

    Upon his graduation from Howard, Marshall began the private practice of law in Baltimore. Among his first legal victories was Murray v. Pearson (1935), a suit accusing the University of Maryland of violating the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws by denying an African American applicant admission to its law school solely on the basis of race. In 1936 Marshall became a staff lawyer under Houston for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1938 he became the lead chair in the legal office of the NAACP, and two years later he was named chief of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

    Throughout the 1940s and ’50s Marshall distinguished himself as one of the country’s top lawyers, winning 29 of the 32 cases that he argued before the Supreme Court. Among them were cases in which the Court declared unconstitutional a Southern state’s exclusion of African American voters from primary elections ( Smith v. Allwright [1944]), state judicial enforcement of racial “restrictive covenants” in housing ( Shelley v. Kraemer [1948]), and “separate but equal” facilities for African American professionals and graduate students in state universities ( Sweatt v. Painter and McLaurin v. Oklahoma State Regents [both 1950]).

    Without a doubt, however, it was Marshall’s victory before the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that established his reputation as a formidable and creative legal opponent and an advocate of social change. Indeed, students of constitutional law still examine the oral arguments of the case and the ultimate decision of the Court from both a legal and a political perspective legally, Marshall argued that segregation in public education produced unequal schools for African Americans and whites (a key element in the strategy to have the Court overrule the “separate but equal” doctrine established in Plessy v. Ferguson [1896]), but it was Marshall’s reliance on psychological, sociological, and historical data that presumably sensitized the Court to the deleterious effects of institutionalized segregation on the self-image, social worth, and social progress of African American children.

    In September 1961 Marshall was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by President John F. Kennedy, but opposition from Southern senators delayed his confirmation for several months. President Lyndon B. Johnson named Marshall U.S. solicitor general in July 1965 and nominated him to the Supreme Court on June 13, 1967 Marshall’s nomination was confirmed (69–11) by the U.S. Senate on August 30, 1967.

    During Marshall’s tenure on the Supreme Court, he was a steadfast liberal, stressing the need for equitable and just treatment of the country’s minorities by the state and federal governments. A pragmatic judicial activist, he was committed to making the U.S. Constitution work most illustrative of his approach was his attempt to fashion a “sliding scale” interpretation of the equal protection clause that would weigh the objectives of the government against the nature and interests of the groups affected by the law. Marshall’s sliding scale was never adopted by the Supreme Court, though in several major civil rights cases of the 1970s the Court echoed Marshall’s views. He was also adamantly opposed to capital punishment and generally favoured the rights of the national government over the rights of the states.

    Marshall served on the Supreme Court as it underwent a period of major ideological change. In his early years on the bench, he fit comfortably among a liberal majority under the leadership of Chief Justice Earl Warren. As the years passed, however, many of his closest allies, including Warren, either retired or died in office, creating opportunities for Republican presidents to swing the pendulum of activism in a conservative direction. By the time he retired in 1991, he was known as “the Great Dissenter,” one of the last remaining liberal members of a Supreme Court dominated by a conservative majority.


    The first African American becomes a Supreme Court justice

    On this day in 1967, Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African American to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. He remained on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring for health reasons, leaving a legacy of upholding the rights of the individual as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. From a young age, Marshall seemed destined for a place in the American justice system. His parents instilled in him an appreciation for the Constitution, a feeling that was reinforced by his schoolteachers, who forced him to read the document as punishment for his misbehaviour. After graduating from Lincoln University in 1930, Marshall sought admission to the University of Maryland School of Law, but was turned away because of the school's segregation policy, which effectively forbade blacks from studying with whites.

    He later successfully sued Maryland School of Law for their unfair admissions policy. Instead, Marshall attended Howard University Law School, from which he graduated magna cum laude in 1933. Setting up a private practice in his home state of Maryland, Marshall quickly established a reputation as a lawyer for the "little man." In a year's time, he began working with the Baltimore NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People), and went on to become the organisation’s chief counsel by the time he was 32, in 1940. Over the next two decades, Marshall distinguished himself as one of the country's leading advocates for individual rights, winning 29 of the 32 cases he argued in front of the Supreme Court, all of which challenged in some way the 'separate but equal' doctrine that had been established by the landmark case Plessy v Ferguson (1896).


    Watch the video: Οι Υπουργοί Δικαιοσύνης και Μεταφορών στις εγκαταστάσεις του Ανώτατου Δικαστηρίου (August 2022).