Thurgood Marshall Short Biography (1908- 1993)
Thurgood Marshall is one of the most well known figures in the history of civil rights in America and the first Black Supreme Court Justices. He served for 24 years then retired in 1991 due to advancing years and bad health. He died later in 1993 at the age of 85. He also served as the legal director for the NAACP in the years of 1940 through 1961, a pivotal time for the organization, as changing the policy of racial segregation was one of its goals.
Marshall and his mentor Charles Hamilton worked together to develop a long-term plan to get rid of racial segregation in schools. Their plan was to start concentrating on the graduate and professional schools, thinking that the judges would be sympathetic to them, then move on to the elementary and high schools.
This proved fruitful in the case of _Brown vs. The Board of Education_ in 1954, were it was declared that segregation of schools was illegal. At this time, Marshall was an experienced advocate of the Supreme Court. Marshall presented many cases before the Court in what was his hallmark styles, straightforward and plainspoken.
President John F. Kennedy appointed Marshall to the Court of Appeals in 1961. This was not an easy confirmation: a group of senators held it up for months, he served initially under a special appointment made during a congressional recess. From 1965 to 1967, he served as Solicitor General under President Johnson. Marshall succeeded Justices Tom Clark on the Supreme Court, and had argued 32 cases before that body, and won 29 of them.
Hamilton was a federalist and served as the secretary of the treasury in the 1890s. He was a strong supporter of a centralized federal government. He also advocated loose interpretation of the u.s. constitution and the use of the elastic clause. Which was an ambiguous power of the federal government stating that ?congress can do what it is proper and necessary? john Marshall?s epitomizing of ...
On the Court Marshall said very little except to train his sarcasm on the lawyers struggling through their arguments and some times a fellow Justices. The key to Marshall’s work was his convection that integration would allow equal rights under the law to take hold. He worked on behalf of Black Americans, but built a structure of individual rights that became the corner stone of protections for all Americans. He succeeded in creating new protections under law for women, children, prisoners, and the homeless. All their claims to full citizenship over the last century can be traced back to Thurgood Marshall. The press, even, can thank him for an expansion of its liberties. Marshall’s deep convection in the power of racial integration came out of a middle class background in Baltimore. He was the child of an activist black community that had established its own schools and fought for equal rights from the time of the Civil War. His own family of an interracial background had been at the forefront of demands by Baltimore blacks for equal treatment.
After Marshall died in 1993 there was no authoritative, thorough account of his life, or the impact that his work had on this nation. The combination of his reclusiveness and his standing in popular culture as an elderly, establishment figure has blinded many people to the importance of his work. Through his ideas of right and wrong, Thurgood Marshall laid the foundation for today’s racial landscape.