Making Civil Rights Law : Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936-1961: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936-1961

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Oxford University Press, USA, Jan 25, 1994 - Social Science - 416 pages
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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.

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Youll Never Find a Better Constitution
Baltimore and the NAACP
The Office in the 1940s
Routine Work in the 1940s
Criminal Law and Race Discrimination
The Increasing Power of Private Discrimination
Attacking Restrictive Covenants
Challenging the White Primary
The Law in Brown
Inside the Supreme Court
Examining History
Devising the Remedy
Massive Resistance to Brown 1955
An Act to Make It Difficult to Assert the Constitutional Rights
Power not Reason

Education Cases 19391945
Making the Record on Segregated Universities
The Supreme Court Deals with Segregated Universities
Making the Record in Brown

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Page 3 - It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

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About the author (1994)

Mark V. Tushnet is at Georgetown University Law Center.

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