I agree wholeheartedly with this letter from the Episcopalian Bishop on behalf of the late Justice Thurgood Marshall. I am surprised that so many people, who benefitted from Marshall’s defense of liberty and civil rights did not speak out in HIS defense earlier in the week.
This week, Republican senators spent Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearings attacking Justice Thurgood Marshall, the legendary advocate behind Brown v. Board of Education who was recently sainted by the Episcopal Church. Yesterday, the Right Reverend John Bryson Chane, Bishop of Washington, responded to these attacks on one of his church’s saints:
Not often is a saint of the Episcopal Church attacked in the chambers of the United States Senate, but incredibly, it has happened this week. As we prepare to celebrate our cherished American values of equality and justice on Independence Day, we must also rise to defend Justice Thurgood Marshall, an Episcopalian who embodied those ideals.
Marshall is an Episcopal saint. He was the first African American to become a justice of the United States Supreme Court and was the lawyer for the plaintiffs in the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case that struck down the institutional racism of segregated public schools. He was also a man of deep religious principles. Last summer, the Episcopal Church voted to include him in our book of saints, called Holy Women, Holy Men. May 17, the day of the Brown vs. Board decision, is his feast.
During his years in Washington, Justice Marshall and his family belonged to St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, where his widow, Sissy, is still an active member. On behalf of all Episcopalians in the Diocese of Washington, I extend to her my sympathy for the hurtful remarks made this week about her late husband. Let me assure Mrs. Marshall and all Episcopalians that our church is resolute in our gratitude for and admiration of Justice Marshall’s legacy, and we pray that we may all receive his exceptional grace and courage to speak the truth.
The Right Reverend John Bryson Chane D.D.
Bishop of Washington
Of course, General Kagan has not yet been confirmed, so if her opponents act quickly, they “may still have time to make cases against Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Gandhi.”
I am not sure how I missed posting this brilliant analysis from Senator Al Franken, regarding judicial activism in the current court, as well as demonstrating what a brilliant justice, Thurgood Marshall had been. This video was taken at the Elena Kagan Confirmation Hearing yesterday. Magnificent!
Well, it’s widely known that Michael Steele steadily drinks the Kool-aid that the GOP serves him on a daily basis. There is no shame or remorse in Michael Steele’s character. He has become the “water boy” (pun intended) for the GOP. Steele started the attack on the late Justice Thurgood Marshall last month, per the instruction of the GOP, no doubt. The GOP strategy was to continue the attacks on Marshall, started by Steele because they couldn’t find anything “liberal or progressive” about Elena Kagan to attack. After all, they had to give their base some red meat, so the Marshall attacks began en masse at the start of the hearings.
Mother Jones – David Corn & Suzy Khimm
During confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, it almost seemed as if the late and legendary Justice Thurgood Marshall was the one being vetted—rather than Kagan, who once clerked for him. Republicans on the Senate judiciary committee have tried to turn the civil rights icon into ammo for their assault on Kagan, attacking Marshall as a “judicial activist” and suggesting that the same could be expected of Kagan. This wasn’t a surprise. Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, kick-started this bash-Marshall campaign last month by pouncing on Kagan for praising a 1987 Marshall speech in which the ex-justice said the Constitution, “as originally drafted and conceived,” was “defective.” Marshall had been referring to the Constitution’s definition of slaves as three-fifths of “free persons.” But Steele’s oppo gang at the RNC seized on this and zapped out a memo hammering Kagan: “Does Kagan Still View Constitution ‘As Originally Drafted And Conceived’ As ‘Defective’?”
Choosing to go after the country’s first black Supreme Court justice is an iffy strategy for the GOPers. But it’s an especially strange line of attack for Steele—formerly Maryland’s first black lieutenant governor—who used to laud Marshall as a hero.
For instance, in July 2004, Steele honored Marshall as a barrier-shattering champion on the 40th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Standing in front of a memorial statue of Marshall near the Governor’s Mansion in Baltimore , Steele declared: “Without the ’64 act, I do not stand in the shadow of this giant.” Also in attendance was Arthur Fletcher, one of the original plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education. As the NAACP’s chief counsel, Marshall had represented Fletcher in that landmark case, which ended legalized segregation in schools. During the ceremony, Fletcher told then-Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich, “Thank you for making that young man [Steele] lieutenant governor.” Continue reading…
This Senator, entertainer, political analyst is indeed multi-talented!
Senator Al Franken has quite some talent for sketching.
AP photographer Alex Brandon caught Franken drawing a portrait of his GOP colleague Sen. Jeff Sessions during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. The likeness is definitely there. Scroll down for an enlarged image.
(By the way, if you think this is impressive, watch this incredible video of Franken drawing an entire map of the United States by memory.)