Thurgood Marshall's pursuit of equality through law

Thurgood Marshall (1908?1993) profoundly shaped the direction and success of the American civil rights struggle. Joining the staff of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1936, he headed its Legal Defense and Educational Fund from 1939 until 1961, subsequently becoming a federal appeals court judge, Solicitor General, and Justice of the US Supreme Court. Marshall was more an egalitarian integrationist than a pluralist and deployed the law in pursuit of this moral objective. Although tolerant of the Communist Party in the 1930s and 1940s, he supported anti?communism in the 1950s as a means of gaining significant support for black civil rights from the federal government. On the Supreme Court, Marshall sought to extend equality not only to African Americans but also to women, gays and the poor. Flexible and pragmatic, Marshall viewed the law as a means to an end, and the relevant end, or ideal, for him was liberal equality
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DOI 10.1080/1369823042000300072
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