Politicians and Judgesaround the country were praising the "founding Fathers" for theirgenius at writing a document that established the guiding legalprinciples of the republic for generations. He earned an undergraduate degree from Lincoln University in 1930 and a law degree from Howard University Law School in 1933. This is unfortunatenot the patriotism itself, but the tendency for the celebration to oversimplify, and overlook the many other events that have been instrumental to our achievements as a nation. The planned commemoration will span three years, and I am told 1987 is "dedicated to the memory of the Founders and the document they drafted in Philadelphia." But they nevertheless set an unfortunate example. If we seek, instead, a sensitive understanding of the Constitution’s inherent defects, and its promising evolution through 200 years of history, the celebration of the “Miracle at Philadelphia” Bowen, Miracle at Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May to September 1787 (Boston 1966). Writing for the Supreme Court in 1857, Chief Justice Taney penned the following passage in the Dred Scott case, 19 How. 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. Maui, Hawaii, May 8, 1987 Pennsylvania’s Governor Morris provides an example. Farrand, ad., The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, vol. On August 30, 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American U.S. Supreme Court Justice. The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 could not have envisioned these changes. Very few Supreme Court justices have championed the First Amendment as consistently as Thurgood Marshall, the Court’s first black justice. It took a bloody civil war before the l3th Amendment could be adopted to abolish slavery, though not the consequences slavery would have for future Americans. 356 Views Program ID: 151490-1 Category: Public Affairs Event Format: Speech Location: Washington, District of Columbia, United States First Aired: 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. It is a pleasure to speak here on the anniversary of our Nation’s independence. Declaration of independence (July 4, 1776). They could not have imagined, nor would they have accepted, that the document they were drafting would one day be construed by a Supreme Court to which had been appointed a woman and the descendent of an African slave. Thurgood Marshall Essay 1578 Words | 7 Pages. Speeches The Legal Attack to Secure Civil Rights. 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. The perpetuation of slavery ensured the primary source of wealth in the Southern States. 11, 222 (New Haven, Conn., 1911). 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. Much has been written about Thurgood Marshall, but this is the first book to collect his own words. 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. 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. We the People" no longer enslave, but the credit does not belong to the Framers. See Becker, The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas 147 (1942). “The true miracle was not the birth of the Constitution, but its life,” Marshall, the first black to sit on the high court, said in a speech delivered to a legal convention in Maui, Hawaii. 1, 52 (Sept. 17, 1787). 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. 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. 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. See Becker, The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas 147 (1942). See Becker, The Declaration of Independence: A Study in the History of Political Ideas 147 (1942). of the The official meetings, essay contests, and festivities have begun. But they nevertheless set an unfortunate example. Independence Hall. United States Constitution, Art. United States Constitution, Art. 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…. Despite this clear understanding of the role slavery would play in the new republic, use of the words "slaves" and "slavery" was carefully avoided in the original document. Remarks of Thurgood Marshall Neither race nor color nor frustration is an excuse for either lawlessness or anarchy. 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. Moral principles against slavery, for those who had them, were compromised, with no explanation of the conflicting principles for which the American Revolutionary War had ostensibly been fought: the selfevident truths “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Declaration of independence (July 4, 1776). May 8, 1981. The 19th Amendment (ratified in 1920). 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." And yet Governor Morris eventually accepted the threefifths accommodation. As a result of compromise, the right of the southern States to continue importing slaves was extended, officially, at least until 1808. 1, 52 (Sept. 17, 1787). Along the way, new constitutional principles have emerged to meet the challenges of a changing society. “Racism separates, but it never libera It belongs to those who refused to acquiesce in outdated notions of “liberty,” “justice,” and “equality,” and who strived to better them. 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. THURGOOD MARSHALL. It belongs to those who refused to acquiesce in outdated notions of "liberty," "justice," and "equality," and who strived to better them. 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 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. The award recognizes similar long-term contributions by other members of the legal … What is striking is the role legal principles have played throughout America’s history in determining the condition of Negroes. 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. It was not the first such compromise. At the Convention he objected that. 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. 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. We know that it actually lasted a good deal longer, as the Framers possessed no monopoly on the ability to trade moral principles for selfinterest. We will see that the true miracle was not the birth of the Constitution, but its life, a life nurtured through two turbulent centuries of our own making, and a life embodying much good fortune that was not. A Commission has been established to coordinate the celebration. Supreme Court justice and civil rights advocate. Thurgood Marshall Award. Responsibility edited by Mark V. Tushnet ; foreword by Randall Kennedy. The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 could not have envisioned these changes. We will see that the true miracle was not the birth of the Constitution, but its life, a life nurtured through two turbulent centuries of our own making, and a life embodying much good fortune that was not. Moral principles against slavery, for those who had them, were compromised, with no explanation of the conflicting principles for which the American Revolutionary War had ostensibly been fought: the selfevident truths "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." What is striking is the role legal principles have played throughout America's history in determining the condition of Negroes. During his 14-year tenure on the Court, Justice Marshall sided with the freedom of speech and the press in several landmark cases which set the precedent for the modern interpretation of the First Amendment we are familiar … The Equality Speech. As an attorney fighting to secure equality and justice through the courts, Thurgood Marshall helped build the legal foundation for Martin Luther King’s challenges to segregation. Thus, in this bicentennial year, we may not all participate in the festivities with flagwaving fervor. 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. 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 … Acceptance Speech. In Maui, Hawaii May 6, 1987 Lawlessness is lawlessness. [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. Thus, in this bicentennial year, we may not all participate in the festivities with flagwaving fervor. 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. 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.... [A]ccordingly, a Negro of the African race was regarded ... as an article of property, and held, and bought and sold as such.... [N]o one seems to have doubted the correctness of the prevailing opinion of the time." 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