“We the People” included, in the words of the Framers, “the whole Number of free Persons.” United States Constitution, Art. The focus of this celebration invites a complacent belief that the vision of those who debated and compromised in Philadelphia yielded the “more perfect Union” it is said we now enjoy. And so again at the Constitutional Convention eloquent objections to the institution of slavery went unheeded, and its opponents eventually consented to a document which laid a foundation for the tragic events that were to follow. This speech Thurgood Marshall gave in 1987 was part of the constitutional bicentennial celebration. Thurgood Marshall delivered a speech on “The Legal Attack to Secure Civil Rights,” at the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People Wartime Conference, in Chicago, Illinois, during July 1944. I plan to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution as a living document, including the Bill of Rights and the other amendments protecting individual freedoms and human rights. May 6, 1987 – Thurgood Marshall Delivers His Famous “Bicentennial Speech” Posted on 05/06/2009 by rhapsodyinbooks Thurgood Marshall, born in Baltimore, Maryland on July 2, 1908, was the first African American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. And so again at the Constitutional Convention eloquent objections to the institution of slavery went unheeded, and its opponents eventually consented to a document which laid a foundation for the tragic events that were to follow. A Commission has been established to coordinate the celebration. As a result of compromise, the right of the southern States to continue importing slaves was extended, officially, at least until 1808. Some may more quietly commemorate the suffering, struggle, and sacrifice that has triumphed over much of what was wrong with the original document, and observe the anniversary with hopes not realized and promises not fulfilled. At the Convention he objected that United States Constitution, Art. The final draft adopted in 1776 did not contain this criticism. Thurgood Marshall gave a speech on November 18, 1978, at the instillation of Wiley Branton as the dean of Howard Law School, where Thurgood Marshall earned his … The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 could not have envisioned these changes. 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. Chicago, Ill., July 13, 1942. The economic interests of the regions coalesced: New Englanders engaged in the “carrying trade” would profit from transporting slaves from Africa as well as goods produced in America by slave labor. Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice exhibited by the Framers particularly profound. As a result of compromise, the right of the southern States to continue importing slaves was extended, officially, at least until 1808. 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. Declaration of independence (July 4, 1776). “History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.” 5. (Lee Hulteng/KRT ... Reagan had used his State of the Union speech to laud the Constitution as … 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. See Becker, The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas 147 (1942). Name: _____ Date: _____This speech Thurgood Marshall gave in 1987 was part of theconstitutional bicentennial celebration. This speech Thurgood Marshall gave in 1987 was part of the constitutional bicentennial celebration. At the Convention he objected that. The perpetuation of slavery ensured the primary source of wealth in the Southern States. And yet Governor Morris eventually accepted the threefifths accommodation. Thurgood Marshall – speech (15 August 1966) Mere access to the courthouse doors does not by itself assure a proper functioning of the adversary process. Patriotic feelings will surely swell, prompting proud proclamations of the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice shared by the Framers and reflected in a written document now yellowed with age. 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 official meetings, essay contests, and festivities have begun. Bringing you history watch our learning cartoon network as we have fun with a biography on Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. The perpetuation of slavery ensured the primary source of wealth in the Southern States. This was a Thurgood Marshall speech that attracted mainstream media coverage, including The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, because of its sharp contrast to the “lavish praise of the Framers' wisdom and devotion to liberty and justice by figures including President Reagan and Warren E. Burger” as the New York Times article noted. The economic interests of the regions coalesced: New Englanders engaged in the "carrying trade" would profit from transporting slaves from Africa as well as goods produced in America by slave labor. He opposed slavery and the counting of slaves in determining the basis for representation in Congress. He opposed slavery and the counting of slaves in determining the basis for representation in Congress. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today. 294 Copy quote History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure. Remarks of Thurgood Marshall This speech Thurgood Marshall gave in 1987 was part of the constitutional bicentennial celebration. But Marshall was one of the few voices pointing out that the original constitution required numerous amendments and came to a crisis that required a Civil War to solve. Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908–January 24, 1993), whose great-grandparents were enslaved, was the first Black justice appointed to the United States Supreme Court, where he served from 1967 to 1991. Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice exhibited by the Framers particularly profound. They arose from the contradiction between guaranteeing liberty and justice to all, and denying both to Negroes. Pennsylvania’s Governor Morris provides an example. [A]ccordingly, a Negro of the African race was regarded … as an article of property, and held, and bought and sold as such…. It belongs to those who refused to acquiesce in outdated notions of "liberty," "justice," and "equality," and who strived to better them. The original intent of the phrase, "We the People," was far too clear for any ameliorating construction. Philadelphia, PA. Even these ringing phrases from the Declaration of Independence are filled with irony, for an early draft of what became that Declaration assailed the King of England for suppressing legislative attempts to end the slave trade and for encouraging slave rebellions. 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. On December 8, 1953 Thurgood Marshall, the chief legal counsel … Read More(1953) Thurgood Marshall, “Argument Before the U.S. Supreme Court in Brown v. … Grandson of an enslaved person, Marshall lived … In the meantime, blacks joined America's military to fight its wars and invested untold hours working in its factories and on its farms, contributing to the development of this country's magnificent wealth and waiting to share in its prosperity. Thurgood Marshall Former Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States July 4, 1992 Independence Hall Philadelphia, PA It is a pleasure to speak … That job belongs to you and me. 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 fact, he wrote the final draft of the Constitution, the very document the bicentennial will commemorate. 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. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today. Acceptance Speech. will, in my view, be a far more meaningful and humbling experience. on the issue whether, in the eyes of the Framers, slaves were “constituent members of the sovereignty,” and were to be included among “We the People”: “We think they are not, and that they are not included, and were not intended to be included…. IV. While the Union survived the civil war, the Constitution did not. United States Constitution, Art. We the People” no longer enslave, but the credit does not belong to the Framers. Thurgood Marshall Former Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States July 4, 1992 Independence Hall Philadelphia, PA *** It is a pleasure to speak here on the anniversary of our Nation’s independence. To make the compromise even more palatable, customs duties would be imposed at up to ten dollars per slave as a means of raising public revenues. The award recognizes similar long-term contributions by other members of the legal … before the l3th Amendment could be adopted to abolish slavery, though not the consequences slavery would have for future Americans. When the Founding Fathers used this phrase in 1787, they did not have in mind the majority of America's citizens. It was not the first such compromise. 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…. United States Constitution, Art. Maui, Hawaii, May 8, 1987 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. Thurgood Marshall Former Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States July 4, 1992 Independence Hall Philadelphia, PA. “In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.” 2. And so we must be careful, when focusing on the events which took place in Philadelphia two centuries ago, that we not overlook the momentous events which followed, and thereby lose our proper sense of perspective. They were enslaved by law, emancipated by law, disenfranchised and segregated by law; and, finally, they have begun to win equality by law. Neither race nor color nor frustration is an excuse for either lawlessness or anarchy. "The inhabitant of Georgia [or] South Carolina who goes to the coast of Africa, and in defiance of the most sacred laws of humanity tears away his fellow creatures from their dearest connections and damns them to the most cruel bondages, shall have more votes in a Government instituted for protection of the rights of mankind, than the Citizen of Pennsylvania or New Jersey who views with a laudable horror, so nefarious a Practice." The progress has been dramatic, and it will continue. Marshall later became chief counsel for the NAACP and argued numerous civil rights cases before the Suprem… Slaves could be imported, if the commercial interests of the North were protected. The Equality Speech. In its place arose a new, more promising basis for justice and equality, the 14th Amendment, ensuring protection of the life, liberty, and property of all persons against deprivations without due process, and guaranteeing equal protection of the laws. July 4, 1992. And yet almost another century would pass before any significant recognition was obtained of the rights of black Americans to share equally even in such basic opportunities as education, housing, and employment, and to have their votes counted, and counted equally. The speech from which Kagan quoted in her law review article was delivered by Marshall in Hawaii as part of a celebration of the 200th anniversary of … Established by the American Bar Association and the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice in 1992, the Thurgood Marshall Award honors U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, who epitomized individual commitment, in word and action, to the cause of civil rights in this country. For a sense of the evolving nature of the Constitution we need look no further than the first three words of the document's preamble: 'We the People." 1, 52 (Sept. 17, 1787). Much has been written about Thurgood Marshall, but this is the first book to collect his own words. The focus of this celebration invites a complacent belief that the vision of those who debated and compromised in Philadelphia yielded the "more perfect Union" it is said we now enjoy. They were enslaved by law, emancipated by law, disenfranchised and segregated by law; and, finally, they have begun to win equality by law. And so we must be careful, when focusing on the events which took place in Philadelphia two centuries ago, that we not overlook the momentous events which followed, and thereby lose our proper sense of perspective. To make the compromise even more palatable, customs duties would be imposed at up to ten dollars per slave as a means of raising public revenues. Women did not gain the right to vote for over a hundred and thirty years. 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." A Commission has been established to coordinate the celebration. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today. [N]o one seems to have doubted the correctness of the prevailing opinion of the time.”, And so, nearly seven decades after the Constitutional Convention, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the prevailing opinion of the Framers regarding the rights of Negroes in America. of the They arose from the contradiction between guaranteeing liberty and justice to all, and denying both to Negroes. Very good possibility Kagan was quoting from a speech she wrote for Marshall. Thurgood Marshall was a great African American Civil Rights activist who changed a lot of lives in the United States. Along the way, new constitutional principles have emerged to meet the challenges of a changing society. Supreme Court justice and civil rights advocate. While the Union survived the civil war, the Constitution did not. 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. On a matter so basic as the right to vote, for example, Negro slaves were excluded, although they were counted for representational purposes at threefifths each. Thurgood Marshall Award. As someone who relishes the ability to do and say whatever I please, independence is a concept near and dear to my heart! 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. “Racism separates, but it never libera 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. I cannot accept this invitation, for I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever "fixed" at the Philadelphia Convention. On August 15, 1987 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall spoke to a gathering of federal judges. 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. In Maui, Hawaii May 6, 1987 The legal system can force open doors, and sometimes-even knock down walls, but it cannot build bridges. Thurgood Marshall's Speech for Bicentennial of Constitution ... Marshall was notorious for allowing his Law Clerks to write his opinions. THE BRETHREN and other books document this. Thurgood Marshall. For a sense of the evolving nature of the Constitution we need look no further than the first three words of the document’s preamble: ‘We the People.” When the Founding Fathers used this phrase in 1787, they did not have in mind the majority of America’s citizens. Thurgood Marshall was an American lawyer and civil rights activist who served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from October 1967 until October 1991. 3. May 8, 1981. Politicians and Judges around the country were praising the “founding Fathers” for their genius at writing a document that established the guiding legal principles of the republic for generations. Even these ringing phrases from the Declaration of Independence are filled with irony, for an early draft of what became that Declaration assailed the King of England for suppressing legislative attempts to end the slave trade and for encouraging slave rebellions. Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, First Full Year's Report, at 7 (September 1986). 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. Independence Hall. Lawlessness is lawlessness. Edition 1st ed. In its place arose a new, more promising basis for justice and equality, the 14th Amendment, ensuring protection of the life, liberty, and property of all persons against deprivations without due process, and guaranteeing equal protection of the laws. Writing for the Supreme Court in 1857, Chief Justice Taney penned the following passage in the Dred Scott case, 19 How. 1987 marks the 200th anniversary of the United States Constitution. 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