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George E. C. Hayes, Thurgood Marshall, and James M. Nabrit congratulate each other on the Brown decision. CREDIT: AP

Early life Family and background

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Charged with illegal fishing, Mi'kmaw man seeks to redefine Supreme Court's Marshall decision
in 1967, in which Justice Marshall wrote his first opinion in a unanimous decision that granted defendants the right to an attorney during every stage of the criminal process. He particularly expressed his belief this right was important to the poor.
in 1969, which held that the private possession of pornography could not be subject to prosecution.
in 1969, which gave defendants protection against double jeopardy in state courts.
in 1970, in which Justice Marshall persuaded his colleagues to unanimously confirm the use of busing to integrate public schools, an issue that was close to his heart in light of his landmark case Brown v. Board of Education.

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Yet, the state of the nation in 1967 was ideal for the new associate justice, a man who had spent 34 years of his life fighting for the civil rights of black Americans and the poor primarily but whose legal victories ultimately advanced the rights of all Americans. Prior to his appointment as an associate justice, Justice Marshall had won a stunning 29 of the 32 cases he argued before the Supreme Court, distinguishing himself as an advocate of the Court.


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17/11/2017 · Charged with illegal fishing, Mi'kmaw man seeks to redefine Supreme Court's Marshall decision
A Career and a Cause
After earning his law degree, Marshall opened a law office in Baltimore in the depths of the Great Depression but quickly found himself in debt by handling civil rights cases for poor clients. In 1934 he went to work for the NAACP. A year later, with Houston as his adviser, Marshall won his first major racial discrimination case, Murray v. Pearson, which ended segregation of the University of Maryland's Law School. The victory over the school that had previously denied him admittance was especially sweet for Marshall, but the decision didn't strike at the heart of segregation since it was won on the grounds that the state of Maryland could not provide a credible "separate but equal" institution for providing African Americans with a legal education.

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barred segregation in interstate bus transportation. Marshall also prevailed on the court to desegregate bus terminals who served interstate passengers. The Morgan decision served as the legal basis for the celebrated "Freedom Rides" of the early 1960s.

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In 1936 Marshall became a staff NAACP lawyer based in New York; two years later, he succeeded Houston as the organization's chief counsel, although the two continued to work closely together. Marshall founded the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in 1940. (The Fund became a separate organization in 1957.)
"Under Marshall, the NAACP's legal staff became the model for public interest law firms," wrote one of his biographers, Mark Tushnet. "Marshall was thus one of the first public interest lawyers. His commitment to racial justice led him and his staff to develop ways of thinking about constitutional litigation that have been enormously influential far beyond the areas of segregation and discrimination."

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Marshall credited Houston, who died in 1950, with devising the basic legal strategy that ultimately succeeded in legal segregation in the United States, specifically the "separate but equal" provisions of the Supreme Court's 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision.

Thurgood Marshall Biography - Biography

Landmark Decisions of the Supreme Court: Select Opinions of Chief Justice John Marshall contains a fully narrated audio edition of five historic decisions written by Chief Justice John Marshall, including Marbury v. Madison, Fletcher v. Peck, Dartmouth College v. Woodward, McCulloch v. Maryland, and Cohens v. Virginia.

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Thurgood Marshall followed his Howard University mentor, Charles Hamilton Houston to New York and later became Chief Counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). During this period, Mr. Marshall was asked by the United Nations and the United Kingdom to help draft the constitutions of the emerging African nations of Ghana and what is now Tanzania. It was felt that the person who so successfully fought for the rights of America's oppressed minority would be the perfect person to ensure the rights of the White citizens in these two former European colonies. After amassing an impressive record of Supreme Court challenges to state-sponsored discrimination, including the landmark Brown v. Board decision in 1954, President John F. Kennedy appointed Thurgood Marshall to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In this capacity, he wrote over 150 decisions including support for the rights of immigrants, limiting government intrusion in cases involving illegal search and seizure, double jeopardy, and right to privacy issues. Biographers Michael Davis and Hunter Clark note that, "none of his (Marshall's) 98 majority decisions was ever reversed by the Supreme Court." In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson appointed Judge Marshall to the office of U.S. Solicitor General. Before his subsequent nomination to the United States Supreme Court in 1967, Thurgood Marshall won 14 of the 19 cases he argued before the Supreme Court on behalf of the government. Indeed, Thurgood Marshall represented and won more cases before the United States Supreme Court than any other American.