GOP Attacks Thurgood Marshall In Kagan Hearing

The GOP in Texas pushed hard to get Thurgood Marshall removed from social studies textbooks, and today I watched in absolute disgust as the GOP in Washington actually smeared Thurgood Marshall during Kagan’s nomination hearing.

Here’s Dana Milbank’s take on this appalling example of the complete degradation of the Republican Party: Kagan may get confirmed, but Thurgood Marshall can forget it.

As confirmation hearings opened Monday afternoon, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee took the unusual approach of attacking Kagan because she admired the late justice Thurgood Marshall, for whom she clerked more than two decades ago.

“Justice Marshall’s judicial philosophy,” said Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, “is not what I would consider to be mainstream.” Kyl — the lone member of the panel in shirtsleeves for the big event — was ready for a scrap. Marshall “might be the epitome of a results-oriented judge,” he said.

It was, to say the least, a curious strategy to go after Marshall, the iconic civil rights lawyer who successfully argued Brown vs. Board of Education. Did Republicans think it would help their cause to criticize the first African American on the Supreme Court, a revered figure who has been celebrated with an airport, a postage stamp and a Broadway show? The guy is a saint — literally. Marshall this spring was added to the Episcopal Church’s list of “Holy Women and Holy Men,” which the Episcopal Diocese of New York says “is akin to being granted sainthood.”

This foul talking point bubbled up from the very worst fringe elements of the right wing, and yes — at its core, this is pure and simple racism.

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Last updated: 2021-06-05 2:51 pm PDT
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