Remarks of Thurgood Marshall Thurgood Marshall – speech (15 August 1966) Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process. As someone who relishes the ability to do and say whatever I please, independence is a concept near and dear to my heart! Like many anniversary celebrations, the plan for 1987 takes particular events and holds them up as the source of all the very best that has followed. Thurgood Marshall : his speeches, writings, arguments, opinions, and reminiscences. At the Convention he objected that They were enslaved by law, emancipated by law, disenfranchised and segregated by law; and, finally, they have begun to win equality by law. Philadelphia, PA. It took a bloody civil war before the l3th Amendment could be adopted to abolish slavery, though not the consequences slavery would have for future Americans. When contemporary Americans cite "The Constitution," they invoke a concept that is vastly different from what the Framers barely began to construct two centuries ago. They arose from the contradiction between guaranteeing liberty and justice to all, and denying both to Negroes. Name: _____ Date: _____This speech Thurgood Marshall gave in 1987 was part of theconstitutional bicentennial celebration. No doubt it will be said, when the unpleasant truth of the history of slavery in America is mentioned during this bicentennial year, that the Constitution was a product of its times, and embodied a compromise which, under other circumstances, would not have been made. Despite this clear understanding of the role slavery would play in the new republic, use of the words “slaves” and “slavery” was carefully avoided in the original document. They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race...; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.... [A]ccordingly, a Negro of the African race was regarded ... as an article of property, and held, and bought and sold as such.... [N]o one seems to have doubted the correctness of the prevailing opinion of the time." Thurgood Marshall Award. Otherwise, the odds are that for many Americans the bicentennial celebration will be little more than a blind pilgrimage to the shrine of the original document now stored in a vault in the National Archives. Thus, in this bicentennial year, we may not all participate in the festivities with flagwaving fervor. The official meetings, essay contests, and festivities have begun. On 6 February 1958, King wrote Marshall to express his gratitude for Marshall’s efforts in the Montgomery bus boycott: “We will remain eternally grateful to you and your staff for the great … The original intent of the phrase, "We the People," was far too clear for any ameliorating construction. Pennsylvania's Gouverneur Morris provides an example. The record of the Framers' debates on the slave question is especially clear: The Southern States acceded to the demands of the New England States for giving Congress broad power to regulate commerce, in exchange for the right to continue the slave trade. 1, 52 (Sept. 17, 1787). These omissions were intentional. 356 Views Program ID: 151490-1 Category: Public Affairs Event Format: Speech Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States First Aired: [A]ccordingly, a Negro of the African race was regarded … as an article of property, and held, and bought and sold as such…. 1987 marks the 200th anniversary of the United States Constitution. If we seek, instead, a sensitive understanding of the Constitution's inherent defects, and its promising evolution through 200 years of history, the celebration of the "Miracle at Philadelphia" Bowen, Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787 (Boston 1966). we are to “recall the achievements of our Founders and the knowledge and experience that inspired them, the nature of the government they established, its origins, its character, and its ends, and the rights and privileges of citizenship, as well as its attendant responsibilities.” Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, First Report, at 6 (September 17, 1985). In a time of flag waving and patriotic rhetoric, Marshall’s comments surprised many and created Front-page headlines: 1987 marks the 200th anniversary of the United States Constitution. Speeches The Legal Attack to Secure Civil Rights. United States Constitution, Art. SAN FRANCISCO PATENT AND TRADEMARK LAW ASSOCIATION A Commission has been established to coordinate the celebration. Moral principles against slavery, for those who had them, were compromised, with no explanation of the conflicting principles for which the American Revolutionary War had ostensibly been fought: the selfevident truths "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Reflecting on his two decades on the Court and particularly on recent affirmative action rulings by the High Court, Justice Marshall reminded his audience that the United States had not yet achieved racial equality or as he termed it, a colorblind society. They could not have imagined, nor would they have accepted, that the document they were drafting would one day be construed by a Supreme Court to which had been appointed a woman and the descendent of an African slave. will, in my view, be a far more meaningful and humbling experience. 1, 59 (Sept. 17, 1787). According to ThurgoodMarshall.com. Many historians and legal scholars consider the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education to be one of the most important and far reaching pronouncements in the history of the Court. of the Thus, in this bicentennial year, we may not all participate in the festivities with flagwaving fervor. This speech Thurgood Marshall gave in 1987 was part of the constitutional bicentennial celebration. On August 15, 1987 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall spoke to a gathering of federal judges. 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