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The First African-american Supreme Court Justice in The United States

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Justice Thurgood Marshall was the first African-American Supreme Court Justice in the United States. He was one of the most influential Civil Rights advocates that had been able to shut down segregation in schools. Justice Thurgood Marshall had accomplishments that made his place significant in United States History. Throughout Thurgood Marshall’s time, his first main achievement was in the year of 1934.

In 1934, Thurgood Marshall had started working for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, also known as the NAACP. Justice Thurgood Marshall worked full time as a legal counsel for the NAACP. While Marshall represented the NAACP as a legal counsel, he argued and won multiple cases presented to the U.S. Supreme Court which assisted in removing multiple forms of legalized racism. At the age of 32, Justice Thurgood Marshall had taken his first victory in the case known as Chambers v. Florida, which he had defended four black men convicted of murder, and it was established that police coercion didn’t result in usable confessions. This can be seen as an accomplishment of his career, winning victory over his first case he had taken. However, the greatest accomplishment of Justice Thurgood Marshall’s career was the victory of the case known as Brown v. Board Of Education of Topeka in 1954.

The case occurred due to a group of black parents in Topeka reporting that their children were being forced to attend all-black segregated schools. Marshall had taken this opportunity to challenge legal racial segregation, the doctrine of “separate but equal.” By May 17th, the Supreme Court had ruled that racial segregation of schools had violated equal protection which was granted by the 14th Amendment. Justice Thurgood Marshall had taken a victory over this case ending racial segregation in schools, which is one of his greatest accomplishments, this also increased his reputation in the United States and portrayed him as one of the most successful lawyers in America. Throughout the career of Justice Thurgood Marshall, he had been able to bring thirty-two cases to the Supreme Court, and out of those thirty-two cases he had been able to win twenty-nine of those cases.

Justice Thurgood Marshall had accomplished winning more cases than he had been able to lose to in his career. Another couple of accomplishments throughout the career of Justice Thurgood Marshall were the positions/titles he was able to gain. In 1961, President John. F. Kennedy appointed Thurgood Marshall as a circuit judge, and Thurgood Marshall served as a U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals judge for four years. During in which the time he had served, his decisions had never been overturned by the Supreme Court. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson had appointed Justice Thurgood Marshall as the first African-American U.S. solicitor general.

Then later on in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson had nominated Justice Thurgood Marshall to become a Supreme Court Justice and on October 2nd, 1967, he was able to obtain that position, becoming the first African-American to gain that position. As he was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice, he supported rulings which held strong protection for individual rights, and liberal interpretations of controversial social issues. Justice Thurgood Marshall had been able to work as a Supreme Court Justice for 24 years before retiring in 1991.

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The first African-American Supreme Court Justice in the United States. (2019, January 15). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
“The first African-American Supreme Court Justice in the United States.” GradesFixer, 15 Jan. 2019,
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