Skip to content
August 30, 2015

August 30, 1967: Thurgood Marshall confirmed

On this day in 1967, Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. He would serve until his retirement in 1991.

After earning his law degree at Howard University in 1934, Marshall worked for the NAACP. He won his first of 29 Supreme Court victories, Chambers v. Florida (1940), at the age of 32.

No victory was more notable or important than Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which ruled that segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. It overturned the “separate but equal” concept established in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).

Marshall served with three different Chief Justices: Earl Warren (retired, 1969); Warren Burger (retired, 1986) and William Rehnquist. Rehnquist was one of only three Chief Justices who received a “promotion” from associate justice; the other two were Edward Douglas White (1910) and Harlan Fiske Stone (1941).

Marshall replaced Tom C. Clark, who had retired from the position. George H.W. Bush appointed another African-American, Clarence Thomas, to fill Marshall’s vacancy.

Image: Marshall in 1967.

Leave a Comment

What do you think?