Former Chief Justice Margaret Marshall's Radical Career

WED, APR 10, 2019 (1:10:19)

Former Chief Justice Margaret Marshall was the first woman to serve on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, a position that she held from 1999 until she retired in 2010. During her tenure, she worked to ensure equal access to justice for all, including our most vulnerable populations. Born and educated in South Africa, Marshall actively opposed the apartheid regime and served as the President of the National Union of South African students, a leading anti-apartheid organization. In 1968, she came to the United States on an academic scholarship. Unable to return home because of her political activism, she graduated from Harvard University with a master’s degree in education and Yale Law School and worked in private practice until the 1990s. From her early days in South Africa, Marshall has been a defender of human rights and equality for all individuals, as reflected in her judicial decisions. Margery Eagan, co-host of WGBH’s midday program Boston Public Radio, was the evening’s moderator.

+ BIO: The Honorable Margaret H. Marshall

The Honorable Margaret H. Marshall was born in South Africa where, as a student, she led the National Union of South African Students, working to end oppressive minority rule and achieve equality for all South Africans. Marshall first came to the US as a high school exchange student in Wilmington, DL in 1962, as the civil rights battles were beginning to boil over, and later returned to the US for graduate school, where she became involved with the anti-war and the women’s movements. After Yale Law School, she entered private practice, became President of the Boston Bar Association, Vice President & General Counsel for Harvard University, and then went on to the State’s Supreme Court, where she became the first female Chief Justice of the oldest continuously serving appellate court in the Western Hemisphere. Though she has had many accomplishments, Justice Marshall is most renowned for her 2003 opinion which led Massachusetts to become the first state in the nation to outlaw the ban on same-sex marriage. Although she loved her time on the bench, Justice Marshall stepped down in 2010. She now mentors young lawyers at her former law firm, Choate Hall & Stewart, and teaches at Harvard University.

+ BIO: Margery Eagan

Margery Eagan is the co-host of 89.7 WGBH’s midday program Boston Public Radio. She has worked with co­-host Jim Braude for 18 years, first doing a TV show together at NECN then a radio show at WTKK. The duo came to WGBH in 2013.

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