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Died – Loss of life – Obituary : Justice Thurgood Marshall’s spouse ‘Cissy’ Marshall dies at 94



Died – Loss of life – Obituary

Justice Thurgood Marshall’s spouse ‘Cissy’ Marshall dies at 94

WASHINGTON — Cecilia “Cissy” Suyat Marshall, the spouse of the late Supreme Court docket Justice Thurgood Marshall who labored alongside the civil rights champion on the NAACP, died Tuesday on the age of 94, the Supreme Court docket introduced.

Marshall’s husband turned the excessive courtroom’s first Black justice in 1967 following a profession as a civil rights lawyer wherein he argued the landmark Brown v. Board of Schooling case that outlawed segregation in public colleges. He retired from the excessive courtroom in 1991 and died in 1993 on the age of 84.

Cecilia Suyat was born in Hawaii on July 20, 1928. She later moved to New York Metropolis and took night time courses at Columbia College to turn into a stenographer. An employment workplace despatched her in 1948 to work on the Nationwide Affiliation for the Development of Coloured Folks.

“The clerk, she noticed my darkish pores and skin, and she or he despatched me to the nationwide workplace of the NAACP,” she mentioned in a 2016 interview. “That’s the solely purpose I can consider that she despatched me to the NAACP for my first job. And to at the present time, I thank her, as a result of had it not been for her, I wouldn’t have recognized something a few race drawback.”

Suyat, who was of Filipino descent, mentioned that “having been born within the Hawaiian islands we by no means had that racial issues, and so working with the NAACP opened my eyes.”

It was additionally on the NAACP that she met her future husband. She labored on quite a lot of circumstances and was there for the case of the so-called Groveland 4, the 4 younger Black males falsely accused of raping a white girl in Florida. She additionally helped take notes and kind briefs as Marshall ready for arguments within the Brown v. Board of schooling case, which was argued in 1952 and 1953.

In interviews later in life, she recalled the celebration after Brown was determined.

“I don’t learn about you fools,” she recalled Marshall saying sooner or later through the festivities, “however I’m going again to work. Our work has simply begun.”

Marshall’s first spouse, Vivien Burey, died of most cancers in 1955. He and Suyat married later that 12 months. She left the NAACP after they wed.

However the marriage virtually didn’t occur, she mentioned, and never due to their 20-year age distinction. She mentioned many individuals nonetheless thought of her to be “a foreigner,” and she or he nervous concerning the response. “When Thurgood proposed I mentioned, ‘No means,’” she recalled in 2013. She mentioned he insisted: “I’m marrying you. I’m not marrying the nation and so they’re not marrying me.”

They’d two sons, Thurgood Jr. and John. It wasn’t till simply earlier than Marshall joined the Supreme Court docket that the justices dominated in Loving v. Virginia that legal guidelines in 16 states barring interracial marriage couldn’t stand.

In a press release, Chief Justice John Roberts referred to as Cissy Marshall a a “vibrant and engaged member of the Court docket household” who frequently attended courtroom occasions. “You wished to take a seat subsequent to her at any occasion,” he wrote. “She had a simple humorousness that could possibly be — in an acceptable setting, after all — a bit saucy.”

Justice Elena Kagan, who was a legislation clerk to Marshall, referred to as Cissy Marshall a “marvelous girl” and wrote: “Each clerk to Justice Marshall acquired a type of bonus: the steadfast friendship and assist of his spouse Cissy.”

The Supreme Court docket mentioned funeral preparations have been pending. Thurgood Marshall was buried at Arlington Nationwide Cemetery in Washington in a piece of the cemetery the place various different former justices have been buried.

Justice Thurgood Marshall’s spouse ‘Cissy’ Marshall dies at 94

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