The deeply personal back and forth this week between Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor over race is without parallel in the court's history, legal experts tell Sahil Kapur.
Part of the reason for that of course is the unhappy historical fact that racial and ethnic minorities haven't had a seat on the Supreme Court bench until the last 47 years. But part of it, too, may have been the calculation by the likes of Thurgood Marshall that a direct public confrontation would not be productive in the long run.
The highlight of Sahil's piece may be the anecdote offered by a former Marshall clerk in which Marshall pulled his punch toward the other justices in his dissent in a 1973 case.
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