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94 W. Va. L. Rev. 1 (1991-1992)
Tribute to a Champion: Thurgood Marshall

handle is hein.journals/wvb94 and id is 11 raw text is: West Virginia Law Review
Volume 94                          Fall 1991                        Number 1
[Thurgood Marshall] helped persuade us that the vogue for positivism in
jurisprudence - the obsession with what the law is, which leaves no room for
a choice between equally acceptable alternatives - must be replaced by a juris-
prudence that recognizes human beings as the most distinctive and important
feature of the universe which confronts our senses, and that recognizes the func-
tion of law as the historic means of guaranteeing that preeminence.'
We take the occasion of Thurgood Marshall's retirement from
the Supreme Court, and from public life, to reflect on his career
and accomplishments. We do so to pay tribute to this champion of
the rights of minorities, the poor, and others disadvantaged and to
express our appreciation for his tireless efforts that have enhanced
opportunities and improved the quality of life for so many Amer-
icans. In addition, reflection on Marshall's career provides a sorely
needed model for public interest-minded law students and lawyers.
The record of his service is well known: civil rights lawyer, di-
rector-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, federal court of
appeals judge, Solicitor General of the United States, and twenty-
four years as Supreme Court Justice. Throughout that progression,
he achieved many firsts for an Afro-American, including the first
* Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law, B.A. Wesleyan University,
1971; J.D. Vanderbilt School of Law, 1974; LL.M. Temple School of Law, 1978.
** Arthur B. Hodges Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law, A.B. An-
derson College, 1962; J.D. Indiana University at Bloomington School of Law, 1965; LL.M. Harvard,
1. Justice William Brennan Address at the Dedication of the Thurgood Marshall Library,
University of Maryland (Oct. 9, 1980).

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