Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936-1961 / Edition 1

Making Civil Rights Law: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court, 1936-1961 / Edition 1

by Mark V. Tushnet
     
 

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

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Overview

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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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195104684
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
02/28/1996
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.12(h) x 1.04(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: "You'll Never Find a Better Constitution"3
1.Setting the Stage: Baltimore and the NAACP6
2."No Star Performance": The Office in the 1940s20
3."You Did All You Could ...": Routine Work in the 1940s42
4."A Negro on Trial for His Life": Criminal Law and Race Discrimination56
5.The "Increasing Power" of Private Discrimination67
6."A Carefully Planned Program": Attacking Restrictive Covenants81
7."Interference with the Effective Choice of the Voters": Challenging the White Primary99
8."Passing Through a Transition": Education Cases, 1939-1945116
9.To "Determine the Future Course of Litigation": Making the Record on Segregated Universities126
10."Replete with Road Markings": The Supreme Court Deals with Segregated Universities137
11."A Direct Challenge of the Segregation Statutes": Making the Record in Brown150
12."Behind This Are Certain Facts of Life": The Law in Brown168
13."Boldness Is Essential But Wisdom Indispensable": Inside the Supreme Court187
14."Quietly Ignoring Facts": Examining History196
15."When They Produce Reasons for Delay": Devising the Remedy217
16.To "Open the Doors of All Schools": Passive Resistance to Brown, 1955-1961232
17."Civil Rights ... Civil Wrongs": Massive Resistance to Brown, 1955-1961247
18.The "Battle Between the Sovereigns": Violent Resistance to Brown, 1955-1961257
19."An Act to Make It Difficult ... to Assert the Constitutional Rights of Negroes": The Attack on the Lawyers, 1955-1961272
20."A Mortal Blow from Which They Will Never Recover": The Attack on the NAACP, 1955-1961283
21."I'd Kind of Outlived My Usefulness": The Changing Context of Civil Rights Litigation301
Epilogue: "Power, not Reason"314
Notes317
Bibliography371
Table of Cases381
Index385

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