Former Senate Judiciary Committee Lawyer Slams Senators Over Attacks on Thurgood Marshall

June 30, 2010
A group of Republican Senate Judiciary Committee members, as noted in this blog post, attacked the work of Thurgood Marshall, the former Supreme Court justice and towering civil rights leader during the opening day of the Elena Kagan Supreme Court confirmation hearings. The senators' broadsides of Marshall continue to draw sharp rebuttals.

As noted by The New York Times, "Justice Thurgood Marshall, who as a lawyer argued the Brown case [Brown v. Board Education, which invalidated segregation in schools], has emerged as a dominant figure in the hearings. Ms. Kagan clerked for him, and Republicans, led by Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, have attacked Justice Marshall as a liberal ‘activist' and expressed concerns about Ms. Kagan's association with him."

In a column for The Washington Post, Stephanie J. Jones knocks Sens. Kyl, Jeff Sessions and John Cornyn for their over-the-top and wildly unfair remarks.

Jones, the former executive director of the National Urban League Policy Institute and a former chief Senate Judiciary Committee counsel, writes:

Let me put it plainly, senators: Far from being the out-of-the mainstream caricature you seek to create, Thurgood Marshall deserves your unyielding gratitude and respect. Among other things, he saved this nation from a second civil war.

...

Marshall stood up for the rights of millions of ordinary Americans who, were it not for him, would have continued to be second-class citizens, unable to vote, attend state universities or share public accommodations by virtue of the color of their skin. This would have been a very different nation - had it even survived.

[image via cliff1066]