Civil Rights: A Verdict On Reagan

A Verdict On Reagan

Even for a Supreme Court Justice who is known to speak his mind, Thurgood Marshall was surprisingly blunt. The TV cameras were rolling as Washington Columnist Carl Rowan asked Marshall, 79, to assess various Presidents by their contributions to civil rights. "What about Ronald Reagan?" asked Rowan. "The bottom," replied the nation's first black Supreme Court Justice. "I think he's down with ((Herbert)) Hoover and that group, when we ((blacks)) really didn't have a chance."

Marshall had done what few members of the high court have dared: openly criticized a sitting President. His remarks did not sit well with Reagan. "That's...

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