July 02, 2002

Speaking Truth To Power

From the New York Time's On This Day: Birthdays: July 2, Thurgood Marshall

For much of his Supreme Court career, as the Court's majority increasingly drew back from affirmative action and other remedies for discrimination that he believed were still necessary to combat the nation's legacy of racism, Justice Marshall used dissenting opinions to express his disappointment and anger.

In 1978, for example, in the Bakke case, in which the Court found it unconstitutional for a state-run medical school to reserve 16 of 100 places in the entering class for black and other minority students, Justice Marshall filed a separate 16-page opinion tracing the black experience in America.

"In light of the sorry history of discrimination and its devastating impact on the lives of Negroes," he wrote, "bringing the Negro into the mainstream of American life should be a state interest of the highest order. To fail to do so is to insure that America will forever remain a divided society."

And for good measure, the History Channel's Thurgood Marshall exhibit.

Posted by ronn at July 2, 2002 02:30 AM

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