My Thoughts

With the trial upcoming, I would like to share my thought on Wikileaks v. United States.  The major precedent in this case is New York Times Co. v. United States, the case in which the publishing of the Pentagon papers were found to be constitutional.  These cases differ because the Pentagon papers were published after the Vietnam war was over and extensive research had been done on the papers.  The Iraq War files were leaked and published during an ongoing war, arguably putting American lives in danger.

In my opinion, I feel like the endangerment of lives and the effect on the war effort is the major point in this case.  Was it Constitutional to release those document?  They did reveal some polarizing information and showed a few gruesome and hard to believe videos.  Going into the case, I am leaning towards this being Constitutional based on the First Amendment, of which I am a major proponent.  However, I am not entirely sure and it is entirely possible I will change my opinion after hearing the arguments of both sides’ representatives.

(Edit) Ramifications

If the case is decided for Wikileaks (as I currently think it will be), I foresee a surge in documents related to things in which the government is involved.  I do not think that we will see any groundbreaking documents about anything current that will need a leak, as the Manning trial has shown that leaks are unconstitutional.  However, I do feel any newly released documents will be eye opening for events that have taken place in the past, such as the Gulf War.

-Thurgood Marshall

Wikileaks v. United States

There have been many discussions about the Wikileaks v. United States court case (ongoing).  The basic outline of the case is as follows: Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning leaked classified military documents and videos to Julian Assange, the man who runs Wikileaks.  Assange released these documents and videos online for the public to see.  Manning has been charged with up to 35 years in prison while Assange has asylum in Ecuador.  The court’s duty in this case is to establish whether or not Wikileaks and Assange violated the Espionage Act of 1917.

I do not personally believe that what occurred was criminal.  Other than showing the public things they might not want to see, this act did not endanger any American lives or harm any ongoing military operations.  I would “no” when asked if anything criminal occurred.

– Thurgood Marshall

Freedom of Petition

When looking at the First Amendment, all of its included freedoms seem integral to making sure the United States does not become a censored entity.  The freedoms of speech, religion, press, petition, and assembly are central to the ideals on which this country was founded.  However, if forced to choose one freedom to give up, it would have to be petition.  All of the other freedoms are so important to our everyday life that it would be almost ridiculous to think about giving any of them up.

Imagine not being able to speak freely about your government; not being able to freely practice your religion (or everyone being associated with a single religion? Think about the repercussions of small sects breaking off…); not being able to read any articles criticizing the government; not being able to come together with others to endorse a cause.

All of these situations are possible outcomes of losing a freedom.  I would choose petition because of two reasons: firstly, I believe that it would establish a greater trust in our elected representatives, as we would only be able to count on them to call for change in the government; secondly, I believe that it would cause people to take a larger role in their local governments and think more about the issues on election day.

These are the reasons and situations that I believe are important when deciding which freedom to relinquish.






A Little About Myself

Hello readers.  My name is Thurgood Marshall and I was a Supreme Court Associate Justice from 1967 until 1991.  Before becoming a Justice, I was best known for arguing the case of Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court, successfully overturning the “separate but equal” style of public education.  Overall, I won 29 of 32 cases before the Supreme Court.

I was nominated for the Supreme Court by President Lyndon B. Johnson.  During my time in office, I compiled a mostly liberal record.  I also firmly believe that the Constitution is not a perfect document, evidenced by the speech I gave during its bicentennial celebration.  I referenced its need for amendments, a civil war, and change in general in order to become the important document we know today.

Two of my most famous cases are United States v. Nixon and Texas v. Johnson.  In United States v. Nixon, the Court and I ruled that there is a limit to presidential powers and immunities during the judicial process.  In Texas v. Johnson, we a 5-4 decision (in which I was in the majority) ruled that the burning of the American flag is protected by the First Amendment.

In regards to the First Amendment, I have always fought strongly for the civil liberties it protects.  All of the freedoms given by the First Amendment are of the utmost importance for a country that desires freedom and advancement as much as the United States.  I also strongly fight for the rights of criminal suspects against the United States.

Until next time,

Thurgood Marshall


“Biographies of the Robes: Thurgood Marshall”.  PBS.  Retrieved 3 September 2014.  Web.

Starks, Glenn; Erik Brooks, F. (2012).  “Thurgood Marshall”.  Retrieved 3 September 2014.  Web., Speeches.  “Constitutional Speech”.  May 6, 1987. Retrieved on 3 September 2014.  Web.  “Thurgood Marshall”.  Retrieved 9 September 2014.  Web.

Idealistic Ambitions.  “Today in Black History: Thurgood Marshall Nominated for U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals”.  Retrieved 9 September 2014.  Web.