Statement from Johnny C. Taylor, CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund on the Nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan as the next United States Supreme Court Justice

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Statement from Johnny C. Taylor,  CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund on the Nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan as the next United States Supreme Court Justice

Former alumna of Thurgood Marshall College Fund Board of Directors for consideration to the High Court


NEW YORK – The story of Brown vs. The Board of Education is one of hope and courage.  May 17, 1954 was a truly historic day for our nation as the United States Supreme Court handed down a landmark unanimous decision striking down Plessy v. Ferguson, a holding that, since 1896, made “Separate But Equal” the law of the land and kept our nation’s schools segregated.  The Brown decision not only integrated our public schools, but it ultimately opened up so many doors of opportunity wrongfully closed to people just because of the color of their skin.  Thurgood Marshall, the lead attorney in the Brown case, became our nation’s first African-American Solicitor General and later the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.


The Late Justice Marshall challenged America to continue to “Knock down the fences that divide, tear apart the walls that imprison, and reach out, for freedom lies just on the other side.”  Thurgood Marshall’s legacy for our nation of equality and inclusion under our Constitution is alive and strong, as evidenced by Elena Kagan’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, where she would be the fourth female appointment.


“We, at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, are extremely supportive of Ms. Kagan’s nomination for a number of reasons; but two standout as particularly meaningful – she served as a law clerk to Justice Marshall and she served on the Board of Directors of the College Fund bearing Justice Marshall’s name,” said Johnny C. Taylor, President  & CEO, TMCF. “Ms. Kagan’s career has embodied the meaning and tradition of Thurgood Marshall’s life’s work to support the Constitutional mandate of inclusion and equal protection under the law for all Americans, particularly in higher education.”


As the only national organization to provide merit scholarships, programmatic and capacity building support to our country’s 47 Public Historically Black Colleges and Universities and 6 Historically Black Law Schools and their 235,000 students, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund enthusiastically supports Elena Kagan’s nomination and eventual appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court because her body of work evidences a commitment to removing any and all impediments to giving each and every American, irrespective of race or color, equal access to a quality post-secondary higher education opportunity.

About Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc.

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc., named for the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, was established in 1987 and represents 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and 6 law schools located in 23 states and the US Virgin Islands with a population of over 235,000 students. Over the last 21 years, TMCF has awarded more than $100 million in leadership development, programmatic and capacity support, and scholarships enabling more than 18,000 students to attend public HBCUs. It is the only national organization of its type that provides merit-based scholarships and programmatic support to students attending the nation’s public HBCUs. TMCF also provides internship programs and joins corporate and foundation partners in providing leadership training and support to students preparing for undergraduate and professional schools. TMCF is a 501(c) (3), tax-exempt organization.