Equal Protection of the Law; Liberty For All; and Thurgood Marshall (1908.07.02)

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 An advocate for civil rights when  appeared before, and served on, the U.S. Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall was born on this date in 1908.  You are invited to join the concurring opinion before the radio court of tunes for the Marshall birthday on Crosscurrents, 7/2 at 8 am.    Live on air link: http://www.krnn.org

His words are relevant today as a reminder to us all:

At a time in our history when the streets of the Nation’s cities inspire fear and despair, rather than pride and hope, it is difficult to maintain objectivity and concern for our fellow citizens. But, the measure of a country’s greatness is its ability to retain compassion in time of crisis. No nation in the recorded history of man has a greater tradition of revering justice and fair treatment for all its citizens in times of turmoil, confusion, and tension than ours. This is a country which stands tallest in troubled times, a country that clings to fundamental principles, cherishes its constitutional heritage, and rejects simple solutions that compromise the values that lie at the roots of our democratic system.

                ~~~ Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238, Concurring opinion (January 17, 1972

America must get to work. In the chilled climate in which we live, we must go against the prevailing winds. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred, and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that buried its head in the sand waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education, or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and timeless absence of moral leadership. We must dissent, because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.

               ~~~ Speech delivered on September 6, 1990, before the Annual Judicial Conference of the Second Circuit, quoted in Supreme Justice Speeches and Writings Thurgood Marshall. Edited by J. Clay Smith, Jr., 2002

The legal system can force open doors, and sometimes-even knock down walls, but it cannot build bridges. That job belongs to you and me. The country can’t do it. Afro and White, rich and poor, educated and illiterate, our fates are bound together. We can run from each other, but we cannot escape each other. We will only attain freedom if we learn to appreciate what is different, and muster the courage to discover what is fundamentally the same. America’s diversity offers so much richness and opportunity. Take a chance, won’t you? Knock down the fences, which divide. Tear apart the walls that imprison you. Reach out. Freedom lies just on the other side. We shall have liberty for all.

             ~~~ Speech delivered on September 6, 1990, before the Annual Judicial Conference of the Second Circuit, quoted in Supreme Justice Speeches and Writings Thurgood Marshall. Edited by J. Clay Smith, Jr., 2002

Customary greeting to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, What’s shaking, chiefy baby?

           ~~~ Source: quoted by M.D. Davis and H.R. Clark in Thurgood Marshall: Warrior at the Bar, Rebel on the Bench, 1992

Sir William Blackstone (1723.07.10)

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SIR WILLIAM BLACKSTONE ON CROSSCURRENTS, 7/10:  The famous English jurist Sir William Blackstone born on this date in 1723 is remembered for his “Commentaries on the Laws of England”, an attempt to provide a culturally wide-ranging review of English law.  No need to pass the bar, or be in a bar, as you are invited and simply need to tune in the Blackstone birthday on Crosscurrents, 7/10 at 8 am.

ROSE BIRD ON CROSSCURRENTS, 11/2

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ROSE BIRD ON CROSSCURRENTS, 11/2:  Becoming the first woman to serve as chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Rose Bird born on this date in 1936, led a progressive majority of the court strengthening environmental laws, consumer protections, and individual rights.  Gavin and Wyatt stand before the bar with Justice Bird on the bench.  You can become a “friend of the court” by joining John as he pleads his case for a Justice Bird birthday tribute on Crosscurrents, 11/2 at 8 a.m.