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Attacking Thurgood Marshall: Not On My Watch

So . . . .the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are at such a disadvantage in Solicitor Kagan’s confirmation hearings that they have to go after a dead justice? And not just any justice, but Justice Thurgood Marshall?

Branding Justice Marshall as an “activist” whose judicial philosophy was “out of the mainstream” leads me to wonder: Since when did equality under the law become synonymous with being “activist” and “out of the mainstream?” Aren’t the words “Equal Justice Under Law” etched in the façade of the U.S. Supreme Court building? Am I missing something here?

If you want to brand Thurgood Marshall an “activist,” he should be considered to have been a “constitutional activist” – someone willing to ensure the Constitution lived up to the principles the Founding Fathers said it embodied (even if many of them were slave owners who did not live up to those principles themselves) and make it apply to everyone, regardless of race. Justice Marshall was willing to put his life on the line, litigating all across the Jim Crow south in places where he and other members of the NAACP legal team faced death threats, to make the Constitution and this country live up to its principles. To hold us all accountable to our nation's principles.

If the end of legally sanctioned racial segregation was “out of the mainstream,” than the mainstream was fouled with bigotry and hatred and needed to be disregarded.

Let’s call this exactly what it is: A cheap shot by men who not only would have been unworthy to carry Justice Marshall’s briefcase, but unworthy to wipe his behind. I would hope that all civil rights organizations would call these Republican senators to task and not let this attack on the record of Justice Marshall go without a united and sharp response. Regardless, I won't let it go unnoticed. Not on my watch.


Anonymous said…
Constitutional Activist - love that! I think our President is a Constitutional Activist, too. Someone who expects the country to live up to the words, who took the oath seriously to "preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States" ...with liberty and justice for all!

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