By 1991, nearly a quarter century after he became the first Black Supreme Court justice, the venerable Thurgood Marshall saw the coming right-wing takeover of the courts for what it was: A legal coup powered by an entirely bad-faith interpretation of the U.S. Constitution that would – one day – allow the American right to roll back the civil rights gains of the 20th century, if not the 20th century itself.
Marshall was largely alone in calling out what he correctly saw as a coordinated, well-funded effort to stack the federal courts with judges trained in the ultimate bad-faith tradition: Constitutional originalism.
Thurgood Marshall was the one true prophet of these bad faith times and all their myriad horrors.
As he stepped down from the Supreme Court in 1991 due to ongoing health issues, Marshall's warnings for what was to come were largely ignored by mainstream media outlets, liberals, and certainly congressional Democrats, who bumbled along for an entire generation while their Republican counterparts slowly built an unstoppable legal Goliath that today can ensure any and all progressive efforts are thwarted. The American right, since Marshall's retirement, has created a legal advantage that serves both as a backstop against liberal legislation and as a weapon for frontal assaults on basic human rights won by Marshall and his cohorts in the latter half of the 20th century.