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.