Justice Thurgood Marshall was one of America’s most accomplished and important jurists. As an attorney, he argued more cases before the U.S. Supreme Court than anyone before or since. A powerful and successful advocate, he prevailed in 29 of his 32 cases before the Court, including the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education, in which the “separate but equal” doctrine was declared “inherently unequal.” In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Marshall to the bench as a judge for the U.S. Second Court of Appeals. Four years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson asked Marshall to serve as U.S. Solicitor General. In 1967, Johnson turned to Marshall again, this time appointing him to the U.S. Supreme Court where Marshall served as an associate justice for the next 24 years.
In his January 29, 2016 Proclamation, President Obama proclaimed February 2016 to be National African American History Month and charged librarians “to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.” The staff at the Harris County Law Library can think of no more appropriate activity than to honor perhaps the most influential African American lawyer in U.S. history and the first African American to rise to the bench of the U.S. Supreme Court— Justice Thurgood Marshall. This month, visit the Law Library’s downtown location to view an exhibit celebrating Justice Marshall’s legal career and accomplishments. You can also visit our website to view the accompanying digital exhibit featuring links to resources about Justice Marshall’s life and legacy.