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Essay: Thurgood Marshall and the ‘flawed document’

The late Justice Thurgood Marshall’s name has been in the news this week because Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, was one of his law clerks in the 1980s and speaks about him frequently.  At her confirmation hearing to become solicitor general, she remembered how Marshall loved holding that post himself.

Coincidentally, Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice, also, came up this week during Need to Know’s reporting on a Texas school board debate over cultural influences in textbooks.

In this essay, Alison Stewart explores Marshall’s legacy, Kagan and Marshall’s enduring place in our textbooks.

Video photo credits:

Photos courtesy of Historical & Special Collections, Harvard Law School Library

Detail from Charles Hamilton Houston’s Harvard Law School Class of 1922 Portrait
S. Arakelyan (n.d.), Arlington, MA, United States, photographer
Harvard Law School Class of 1922
gelatin silver print, 25.4 x 108.2cm

Detail from Portrait of Isaac Royall, Jr.
Feke, Robert, American, 1707-1752
Isaac Royall and Family, 1741
oil on canvas, 56 3/16 x 77≤ in.

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard University News Office

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