Justice Marshall's Legacy (03:37)
Judy Woodruff introduces Nina Totenberg, Kathleen Sullivan, Lino Graglia, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Gary McDowell. Totenberg discusses Thurgood Marshall's decision to retire and the conservative counter-revolution in the Supreme Court. Norton highlights his progressive contributions to American law.
Debate over Marshall's Liberal Contributions (03:46)
McDowell argues that Marshall's accomplishments occurred prior to his Supreme Court appointment. Sullivan argues that Marshall was a compassionate dissenter. Graglia discusses the Supreme Court's appropriation of controversial of public policy decisions and Marshall’s role in creating a liberal majority.
Marshall's Prophecies (03:37)
Totenberg relates a story Marshall told about experiencing racial discrimination in segregated Mississippi. Norton highlights Marshall's advocacy for oppressed groups; Sullivan says Marshall's dissents later became law.
Overstepping Supreme Court Boundaries (03:00)
Graglia argues that Marshall and Brennan violated Constitutional principles of self-government and federalism by taking over policy issues. Norton argues that protecting minority rights is equally important in the Constitution. Totenberg says his desegregation litigation became the model for recognizing group rights.
Constitutional Philosophy Debate (02:07)
Graglia argues that the Constitution recognizes capital punishment and that Marshall's dissent was based on personal beliefs. Norton argues that the Constitution was meant to be interpreted based on evolving social conditions.
Court Term (1990-1991) (02:39)
Sullivan says Marshall's final Supreme Court term will be remembered for the Rust vs. Sullivan decision on providing abortion information, restricting habeas corpus, and narrowing press freedoms. McDowell argues that it revives federalism ideas and reinvigorates local politics.
Democracy Debate (05:14)
Norton argues that the Supreme Court no longer protects individual rights. Graglia believes people should go to Congress for individual rights protections, rather than the courts. He and Sullivan disagree whether the courts should interpret Constitutional principles in an evolving society.
Marshall's Successor (04:23)
Totenberg reports on the Bush Administration's desire to appoint a Supreme Court justice with a judicial record; Clarence Thomas is a contender. Norton doubts an African-American will be appointed; Sullivan expects they will be conservative.
Conservative Counter-Revolution (03:00)
Sullivan and Graglia disagree whether the Supreme Court completed a shift to the right. McDowell argues that conservative justices are unpredictable on decisions; the Bush Administration will nominate a Republican successor to Marshall.
Not a Representative Institution (03:25)
McDowell argues that Marshall's successor should be nominated based on qualifications, rather than race or gender. Norton and Sullivan argue that the Supreme Court finally gained confidence among African-Americans; they support a qualified minority replacement.
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