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President Sees Marshall Take Supreme Court Seat

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« on: October 03, 2009, 12:09:31 am »

President Sees Marshall Take Supreme Court Seat
Special to The New York Times


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Washington, Oct. 2--President Johnson paid an unannounced visit to the Supreme Court this morning to witness the swearing in of Thurgood Marshall, who became the first Negro to sit on the high court. Mr. Johnson took his seat in the "family section" near the bench, shortly before the Justices took their seats for the opening of the new term. The President left immediately after the five-minute ceremony. He did not attempt to congratulate Justice Marshall, who remained on the bench with the other Justices for almost an hour, as 223 lawyers were admitted to practice before the Court. Justice Marshall, the great-grandson of a slave, gained national fame as a counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He swore today to "administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich."

He took the oath with his hand resting on a Bible held by John F. Davis, clerk of the Supreme Court. Then T. Perry Lippitt, marshal of the Court, escorted Justice Marshall to the junior seat on the Chief Justice's left.

Beaming broadly, Justice Marshall shook hands with Justices Byron R. White and William J. Brennan Jr., who will be seated nearest to him.

Justice Marshall is President Johnson's second Supreme Court appointee. The President was out of the city and unable to attend the swearing in ceremony of his first appointee Abe Fortas.

President Truman became the first President to attend the swearing in of a Justice when he appeared at the ceremony for Justice Harold H. Burton in 1945. Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy continued the tradition by witnessing the swearing in of men they had appointed.

Seated with President Johnson this morning were two retired Justices, Stanley F. Reed and Tom C. Clark. The latter stepped down last June after his son, Ramsey, became Attorney General.

In a brief statement before the oath was administered Chief Justice Earl Warren noted that President Johnson had "happily" appointed Justice Marshall to the vacancy so that the new term could commence "thankfully with a full Court."

Also present were Justice Marshall's wife and his sons, Thurgood Jr., 11 years old, and John W., 9; the Justice's brother, Dr. W. Aubry Marshall of Wilmington, Del., and Mrs. Marshall; his sister-in-law, Mrs. Phillip Acoba of Honolulu; and his aunt, Mrs. Cyrus W. Marshall of Baltimore.

After the meeting the Justices began a week-long series of closed conferences to consider petitions for review filed during summer recess. On Monday morning the Court will announce its decisions on many of these petitions and begin to hear arguments in appeals granted last spring.

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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2009, 12:10:20 am »

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"He who controls others maybe powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still. - Lao Tsu
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