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Making Civil Rights Law : Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936-1961 - Mark V. Tushnet

Making Civil Rights Law

Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936-1961

Hardcover

Published: 1st January 1994
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From the 1930s to the early 1960s civil rights law was made primarily through constitutional litigation. Before Rosa Parks could ignite a Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Supreme Court had to strike down the Alabama law which made segregated bus service required by law; before Martin Luther King could march on Selma to register voters, the Supreme Court had to find unconstitutional the Southern Democratic Party's exclusion of African-Americans; and before the March on Washington and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Supreme Court had to strike down the laws allowing for the segregation of public graduate schools, colleges, high schools, and grade schools.
Making Civil Rights Law provides a chronological narrative history of the legal struggle, led by Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, that preceded the political battles for civil rights. Drawing on interviews with Thurgood Marshall and other NAACP lawyers, as well as new information about the private deliberations of the Supreme Court, Tushnet tells the dramatic story of how the NAACP Legal Defense Fund led the Court to use the Constitution as an instrument of liberty and justice for all African-Americans. He also offers new insights into how the justices argued among themselves about the historic changes they were to make in American society.
Making Civil Rights Law provides an overall picture of the forces involved in civil rights litigation, bringing clarity to the legal reasoning that animated this "Constitutional revolution," and showing how the slow development of doctrine and precedent reflected the overall legal strategy of Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP.

"A monumental and fascinating piece of research written in language that you too can understand."--Nina Totenberg, Legal Affairs Correspondent, National Public Radio and ABC News Nightline "Dramatic and moving....Replete with new information and insights about Marshall and his times....The Marshall that rises from the pages of this book was a brilliant lawyer, a shrewd strategist and a prodigious psychologist."--Chicago Tribune "Superb documentation, including interviews, letters, and manuscript collections."--Choice "An absorbing account of the legal struggles, led by Thurgood Marshall, to achieve civil rights for African Americans....An important and well-told account of the often-neglected legal struggle for civil rights."--Kirkus Reviews "This is a sobering, serious, historically significant work that should be read by every law student, lawyer and judge in America. Journalists, educators and other persons who shape public policy, will gain insights of inestimable value. Moreover, as South Africa and other nations struggle to insert human rights and and civil rights values into their domestic laws, the lessons to be learned from Thurgood Marshall, as chronicled in this remarkable book, assume even greater importance."--Nathaniel R. Jones, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit "This is the definitive account of the legal crusade that triggered a social revolution. Thurgood Marshall's skills as an advocate are detailed with care and insight. Had he never held public office, he would have been one of the most important lawyers in American history, and Mark Tushnet's book demonstrates why."--Dennis J. Hutchinson, Editor, The Supreme Court Review, The University of Chicago "Mark Tushnet's wonderful book makes possible a full accounting of the enormous debt we owe to Thurgood Marshall. By telling the compelling story of Marshall the civil rights lawyer, Tushnet's book reminds us that Thurgood Marshall would have been a giant if he had never served a day on the Court. For students of the Court, Tushnet provides an invaluable insight into the NAACP legal strategy that led to a constitutional revolution."--Burt Neuborne, New York University School of Law "A superb book. Based on careful excavation of the archival record, Tushnet focuses on Marshall's career as the guiding presence of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Tushnet evokes the often harrowing circumstances under which Marshall worked and makes clear the true heroism of his achievement as a lawyer who truly was, at the same time, a primary maker of our civil rights law. Along the way, Tushnet also offers a first-rate history of the Supreme Court's confrontation with the legal problems posed by the discriminatory regime that Marshall devoted his life to attacking."--Sanford Levinson, University of Texas School of Law at Austin "Extraordinarily valuable for its account of the deliberations of the Supreme Court in the vital cases brought to it by Thurgood Marshall. All readers will gain important insights into the workings of the Court and how it was influenced by the strategic decisions made by Marshall and his colleagues at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund."--Charles Stephen Ralston, Senior Staff Attorney, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. "Detailed and nuanced."--Publisher's Weekly "A monumental and fascinating piece of research written in language that you too can understand."--Nina Totenberg, Legal Affairs Correspondent, National Public Radio and ABC News Nightline "Dramatic and moving....Replete with new information and insights about Marshall and his times....The Marshall that rises from the pages of this book was a brilliant lawyer, a shrewd strategist and a prodigious psychologist."--Chicago Tribune "Superb documentation, including interviews, letters, and manuscript collections."--Choice "An absorbing account of the legal struggles, led by Thurgood Marshall, to achieve civil rights for African Americans....An important and well-told account of the often-neglected legal struggle for civil rights."--Kirkus Reviews "This is a sobering, serious, historically significant work that should be read by every law student, lawyer and judge in America. Journalists, educators and other persons who shape public policy, will gain insights of inestimable value. Moreover, as South Africa and other nations struggle to insert human rights and civil rights values into their domestic laws, the lessons to be learned from Thurgood Marshall, as chronicled in this remarkable book, assume even greater importance."--Nathaniel R. Jones, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit "This is the definitive account of the legal crusade that triggered a social revolution. Thurgood Marshall's skills as an advocate are detailed with care and insight. Had he never held public office, he would have been one of the most important lawyers in American history, and Mark Tushnet's book demonstrates why."--Dennis J. Hutchinson, Editor, The Supreme Court Review, The University of Chicago "Mark Tushnet's wonderful book makes possible a full accounting of the enormous debt we owe to Thurgood Marshall. By telling the compelling story of Marshall the civil rights lawyer, Tushnet's book reminds us that Thurgood Marshall would have been a giant if he had never served a day on the Court. For students of the Court, Tushnet provides an invaluable insight into the NAACP legal strategy that led to a constitutional revolution."--Burt Neuborne, New York University School of Law "A superb book. Based on careful excavation of the archival record, Tushnet focuses on Marshall's career as the guiding presence of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Tushnet evokes the often harrowing circumstances under which Marshall worked and makes clear the true heroism of his achievement as a lawyer who truly was, at the same time, a primary maker of our civil rights law. Along the way, Tushnet also offers a first-rate history of the Supreme Court's confrontation with the legal problems posed by the discriminatory regime that Marshall devoted his life to attacking."--Sanford Levinson, University of Texas School of Law at Austin "Extraordinarily valuable for its account of the deliberations of the Supreme Court in the vital cases brought to it by Thurgood Marshall. All readers will gain important insights into the workings of the Court and how it was influenced by the strategic decisions made by Marshall and his colleagues at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund."--Charles Stephen Ralston, Senior Staff Attorney, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. "Detailed and nuanced."--Publisher's Weekly

Prologue: "You'll Never Find a Better Constitution"p. 3
Setting the Stage: Baltimore and the NAACPp. 6
"No Star Performance": The Office in the 1940sp. 20
"You Did All You Could ...": Routine Work in the 1940sp. 42
"A Negro on Trial for His Life": Criminal Law and Race Discriminationp. 56
The "Increasing Power" of Private Discriminationp. 67
"A Carefully Planned Program": Attacking Restrictive Covenantsp. 81
"Interference with the Effective Choice of the Voters": Challenging the White Primaryp. 99
"Passing Through a Transition": Education Cases, 1939-1945p. 116
To "Determine the Future Course of Litigation": Making the Record on Segregated Universitiesp. 126
"Replete with Road Markings": The Supreme Court Deals with Segregated Universitiesp. 137
"A Direct Challenge of the Segregation Statutes": Making the Record in Brownp. 150
"Behind This Are Certain Facts of Life": The Law in Brownp. 168
"Boldness Is Essential But Wisdom Indispensable": Inside the Supreme Courtp. 187
"Quietly Ignoring Facts": Examining Historyp. 196
"When They Produce Reasons for Delay": Devising the Remedyp. 217
To "Open the Doors of All Schools": Passive Resistance to Brown, 1955-1961p. 232
"Civil Rights ... Civil Wrongs": Massive Resistance to Brown, 1955-1961p. 247
The "Battle Between the Sovereigns": Violent Resistance to Brown, 1955-1961p. 257
"An Act to Make It Difficult ... to Assert the Constitutional Rights of Negroes": The Attack on the Lawyers, 1955-1961p. 272
"A Mortal Blow from Which They Will Never Recover": The Attack on the NAACP, 1955-1961p. 283
"I'd Kind of Outlived My Usefulness": The Changing Context of Civil Rights Litigationp. 301
Epilogue: "Power, not Reason"p. 314
Notesp. 317
Bibliographyp. 371
Table of Casesp. 381
Indexp. 385
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195084122
ISBN-10: 0195084128
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 416
Published: 1st January 1994
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.2 x 16.2  x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.73