Marshall later became chief counsel for the NAACP and argued numerous civil rights cases before the Supreme Court. Marshall was the Court's first African-American justice. He said, what does that mean? I didn’t and I’m not going to say so. So I went to Irvin and I said, look, your mother’s here. He said well I guess I’ve got to make up my mind. Marshall served on the Court from 1967 to 1991. we’ll be over there in a minute. Upcoming Episodes. As a civil rights attorney, he won a landmark case to end segregation in public schools—then fought to … Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP were also wary of the Bureau's prying eyes, but they were more concerned about white supremacist terrorist groups like the KKK. Charles Hamilton Houston, the vice dean, viewed the law school as training "social engineers" who could use the law to challenge segregation. Some civil rights activists disparaged the NAACP's legal approach to dismantling segregation, contending that civil disobedience was a more effective tool to change public opinion and pressure politicians and businesses to change their practices. He said what’s up? We also said, hell, no, we don’t give you no permission to search us. You didn’t talk to him because one day I told him, I said look Doc, your office and mine are side by side and you come in here this morning and I say good morning to you and you just walk right by. Looby was driving and they pulled him over and they said you weren’t driving this car were you? In contrast to cause lawyers, who defend individuals to advance a progressive cause, like Clarence Darrow and Louis Brandeis, Marshall's team (renamed the NAACP Legal Defense Fund) became the first public interest law firm devoted entirely to identifying cases that would change society, not just help a particular plaintiff. He became increasingly frustrated by the country's failure to carry out the provisions of the landmark rulings intended not only to dismantle legal segregation but also to bring about more racial and social equality. But one case in Florida during the 1950s caught his attention. From PBS - Civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall's triumph in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate America's public schools completed the final leg of a journey of over 20 years laying the groundwork to end legal segregation. I just sold the last two bottles to the judge. “History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.” 5. And I said, who, Willis McCall? 1930 Mr. Marshall graduates with honors from Lincoln U. Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP. On the first day of her confirmation hearings, Marshall's name came up thirty-five times. Thurgood Marshall was born Thoroughgood Marshall on June 2, 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1936 Marshall went to work for the NAACP full-time. Got back to town and it was empty. Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908–January 24, 1993), whose great-grandparents were enslaved, was the first Black justice appointed to the United States Supreme Court, where he … During a death penalty argument in 1981, Justice William Rehnquist said that the prisoner's repeated appeals had cost the taxpayers too much money. I said, well, I’m going to make an objection. One of Marshall's innovations was to file a Brandeis Brief that did not rely solely on legal theory, but also drew on studies by sociologists and psychologists that documented the harmful effects of segregation. When I told him I was arrested for drunk driving, Tom said, well were you drunk? His majority opinion in Stanley v. Georgia (1969) held that the possession of pornography in the privacy of one's home could not be subject to prosecution. "Yowsa, yowsa," Marshall responded, accentuating his southern accent, then pushed the button. Like his closest ally, Justice William J. Brennan Jr., Marshall believed that the death penalty was unconstitutional under all circumstances. The civil rights groups had recently begun to operate a full-time legal office, which was run by his old dean, Charles Houston. So we went together and we went to the justice of the peace who was a little short man, about 5foot4, elderly and about 60something. Part of HuffPost Politics. I’m ahead of my story. In 1936, Marshall moved to New York to work at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He had become famous for defending cases with black defendants, as an NAACP lawyer, and as head of legal defense for the agency. From PBS - Civil rights attorney Thurgood Marshall's triumph in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision to desegregate America's public schools completed the final leg of a journey of over 20 years laying the groundwork to end legal segregation. February, 1956. After President Johnson appointed Marshall to the Supreme Court in 1967, he joined a strong liberal majority and advanced bold ideas expanding civil rights and free speech. At least a hundred. He made good money. But when they needed attorneys, it was the NAACP they turned to. Marshall had been one of the NAACP's top lawyers. Thurgood Marshall in front of the Supreme Court building (left) and with Autherine Lucy and fellow NAACP attorney Arthur Shore outside Birmingham's Federal Court during Lucy's campaign to desegregate the University of Alabama. I never had a drink in my life and I can smell a drink a mile off. And he said, well, there’s only one more train comes through here and that’s four o’clock and you’d better be on it because the sun is never going down on a live Nigger in this town. He became the chief counsel (main lawyer) for the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). In addition, he successfully brought lawsuits that integrated other state universities. That’s the first time that they knew what was going on. Thurgood Marshall, a trailblazer, in the Supreme Court. And he showed me his credentials from the governor’s staff, he was the governor’s confidential adviser, he said, I’m here at the wish of the governor and everything I say is approved by the governor, and the first thing is that you look out he said you’ll see each guy that’s got this kind of a pin on is a state trooper and wellarmed because they’re trying to get you. McCall was the sheriff. In 1946 he was awarded the Springarn Medal for all his achievements and hard work for the NAACP. 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