Jackson Creek Middle School
American Heroes: Thurgood Marshall
Road to Supreme Court Justice
Second Circuit Court of Appeals:
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Thurgood Marshall's nomination as a federal judge and he took his seat on the bench in September 1962. During Marshall's four years on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Marshall and other justices decided some 400 cases a year. Marshall delivered the court's opinions.
U.S. Solicitor General:
President Johnson appointed Marshall U.S. solicitor general in 1965. The U.S. solicitor general is the most visible member of the Justice Department to the public. The U.S. solicitor general is the representative of the United States of America in front of the Supreme Court. Between 1965 and 1967, he won 14 out of the 19 cases he argued for the U.S. government. Most of these cases were about civil rights and privacy issues. Some cases he argued included Evans v. Newton, Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, and Black v. United States.
Court: Associate Justice
Photographer: Melinda Kolk
On June 13, 1967, President Johnson appointed Marshall as an associate justice. Johnson said, "He deserves the appointment. He is the best qualified by training and by very valuable service to the country." (p.109) Thurgood Marshall was the first native of Maryland to serve on the Supreme Court since 1864. Marshall was also the first black to be elevated to the Supreme Court. As an associate justice, he continued to support constitutional rights and educational & legal equality for all races. During his first term, he heard 53 cases, and wrote 14 opinions. A lot of his cases had to do with the 1st Amendment and civil rights. On June 27, 1991, after more than two decades of service as an associate justice, Marshall retired from the court. Two years later, he died of heart failure.
Marshall will forever be remembered as an excellent lawyer and model American. He changed the way the United States of America did things, through his achievements in the courtroom. We should all look up to him and use him as a reminder that if we try, anything is possible.
By: Jenny H.
Last updated: 12/14/01