Thurgood Marshall is my favorite Supreme Court judge. If there were such things as Surpreme Court collectible cards I’d have a stack of his cards stashed in a binder all neatly stored in plastic pockets. Each card would focus on one of his memorable court decisions (as lawyer and SC Justice): Brown v. Board of Education, affirmative action (yes, I truly believe this continues to be important and needed in the workplace, without it only white men would have jobs), he changed labor laws affecting women and children and of course, his strong civil rights wins for NAACP.
America was a saner place (at least my patch of it was) when Thurgood Marshall sat on the bench. Marshall wouldn’t have ever supported corporations having the right of free speech – he despised laws that hurt the people and worked throughout his whole life to uphold our freedoms. He respected the whole constitutional package equally, “I plan to celebrate the … Constitution as a living document, including the Bill of Rights and the other amendments protecting individual freedoms and human rights.”
I firmly believe that our Constitution should reflect our times and should not be read, nor relied on to reflect what we think the founding fathers wrote about as applied to our 21st century – they couldn’t even project beyond the 19th, and even that was a stretch. Our Constitution has been added on to to better it, and ourselves. It has taken us beyond divided citizenry to equality among gender, race and creed. Marshall understood this need to grow, as well as to protect us from our own nasty vices and “religious values” that divided and demeaned.
I do not like hearing Marshall’s name uttered from the mouths of Senators Orrin Hatch, Jeff Sessions, Greg Sargent, and Lindsey Graham. They want the Constitution read as they read the Bible: dry, dead, defeminated and deracinated (sorry, but I have to create words when/where they are needed). They want the United States turned back 60 years, and McCarthy and Wallace exhumed from their graves – but I digress – if Elena Kagan could be half the judge her mentor was we would have one better Justice on the Surpreme Court.