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Judiciary to Commemorate Renaming of Thurgood Marshall Law Library

The former Maryland State Law Library will hold a ceremony later this month to celebrate its new name: the Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library.

The library was renamed this year after a bill was passed unanimously by the General Assembly.

Marshall, the first African-American justice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, was born in Baltimore in 1908. His first major case was Murray v. Pearson (1935), which prohibited the University of Maryland School of Law – which in 1930 turned down Marshall’s application on the basis of race before he enrolled at Howard University – from rejecting applicants based on race.

Marshall went on to argue dozens of cases at the Supreme Court, including the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.

In 1961, he was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals. In 1967, Marshall began his 24-year tenure as a justice. He died in 1993.

On Oct. 17, the Maryland Judiciary will hold a ceremony to mark the changing of the law library’s name at the Court of Appeals building in Annapolis.

Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera will lead the ceremony, which will include retired Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, who was the first African-American to hold the position. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) are also expected to be on hand.

The Maryland Thurgood Marshall State Law Library is open to the public and provides resources that enhance the understanding of legal information.

The bill renaming the library was introduced by Dels. Ron Watson (D-Prince George’s), Darryl Barnes (D-Prince George’s), Erek Barron (D-Prince George’s), Debra Davis (D-Charles), Michael A. Jackson (D-Calvert and Prince George’s) and Jheanelle K. Wilkins (D-Montgomery), and Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Prince George’s).

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Editor’s Note: This article was updated to correct Thurgood Marshall’s appointment in 1961; he was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals that year, not the Maryland Court of Appeals.