Why Thurgood Marshall? How to view this site
Newbold, Bryan Senecal, Nicole Winikates, Robert

Why Thurgood Marshall?

    Thurgood Marshall is our choice to be the topic of our Seevak website. His advancements in the field of civil rights for African-Americans were outstanding. His long career included time as the chief counsel for the NAACP, then as federal judge and solicitor general, and finally as the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.

    As an NAACP lawyer during World War II he was the director and chief counsel for the organization. He won many cases against the U.S. military that allowed African-Americans to become officers in the armed forces for the first time. His most famous victory was Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. This renowned case eliminated the basis for the “separate but equal” standard that had previously been in effect across the nation. Other cases that he prosecuted dealt with exclusionary practices of African-Americans in primary elections, and private agreements to restrict land sales to African-Americans. He also forced the desegregation of Texas and Oklahoma state universities. While solicitor general, all of his 112 rulings that were appealed to the Supreme Court were upheld as constitutionally sound. This reputation awarded him his seat on the Supreme Court by Lyndon Johnson in 1967. As a Supreme Court Justice he successfully argued the influential case Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. Previously state universities employed affirmative action quotas, similar to those that were previously in place at BLS. This case set a precedent against affirmative action. Some of his other Supreme Court rulings included decisions dealing with the abolishing the death penalty, legalizing, to a degree, abortion, and most of all, giving all citizens equal protection of under the Constitution.


    We chose Thurgood Marshall because he implemented so many policies that made significant progress in the fields of racism and segregation. His influence has impacted countless numbers of people, and shall continue to make a difference for the future of Americans.