Fact Check: Chuck Schumer Erases Thurgood Marshall from the History Books


CLAIM: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said: “Until 1981, this powerful body, the Supreme Court, was all white men.”

VERDICT: FALSE. Justice Thurgood Marshall, a black man, served on the court from 1967 until 1991.

Schumer took to the floor of the Senate on Thursday to praise President Joe Biden for committing, in advance, to nominating a black woman to fill the vacancy being created by the imminent retirement of liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

In his remarks, Schumer referred to the fact that only two justices in the Supreme Court have been African American — a reference to current Justice Clarence Thomas, and presumably to Marshall as well. Yet he omitted Marshall later.

1981 was the year that President Ronald Reagan nominated Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was the first woman to serve on the Court.

Marshall rose to national prominence for his prowess as a civil rights attorney, successfully leading the challenge to racial segregation in schools at the Supreme Court in the Brown v. Board of Education case of 1954

One of Justice Marshall’s most famous and enduring quotes is the following:

“History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.”

Schumer attended both Harvard University and Harvard Law School before embarking on his political career.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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