The Supreme Court: Filling a Legal Giant's Shoes

Thurgood Marshall retires, setting the stage for Bush to strengthen a conservative majority that could dominate the high bench for decades

Thurgood Marshall did his best to outlast the Republican Presidents he frequently calls "those bastards." But his 83rd birthday was approaching, his health was so poor that he said he was "coming apart," and there was not much hope that a liberal Democrat would recapture the White House and name his successor. Last week Marshall, the only African American ever to serve as a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, gave up the seat he had held since 1967.

Despite his physical frailty and growing philosophical isolation from his fellow Justices, Marshall's was no meek or defeated departure. His last words...

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