State of New Jersey
Executive Order #81

Governor James J. Florio

WHEREAS, Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall devoted his long and distinguished life to advancing the cause of equality and justice in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Justice Marshall, born the son of a Pullman waiter, rose from the ranks of systematic racial segregation and legalized discrimination to become one of the greatest civil rights leaders in our history; and

WHEREAS, while serving as Chief Counsel to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Justice Marshall masterminded the legal strategy that resulted in the dismantling of racial segregation throughout American society; and

WHEREAS, this strategy culminated in the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education, in which Justice Marshall argued that segregated schools were inherently unequal, and therefore in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court accepted Justice Marshall's arguments, and held that racial segregation by the government is constitutionally intolerable; and

WHEREAS, the Supreme Court's holding in Brown v. Board of Education resulted in the profound transformation of American legal, social, and political life; and

WHEREAS, after Justice Marshall's achievements at the NAACP, President Lyndon Johnson appointed him to be the first African-American Solicitor General; and

WHEREAS, in 1967, President Johnson appointed Justice Marshall to become the first African-American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; and

WHEREAS, Justice Marshall served for twenty-four distinguished years on the nation's highest Court, and in that time demonstrated a deep and unswerving dedication to the motto inscribed above the entrance to the Supreme Court building: "Equal justice under law"; and

WHEREAS, in his twenty-four years on the Supreme Court, Justice Marshall's wisdom and sensitivity breathed the spirit of fairness and compassion into every area of the law; and

WHEREAS, in marking the passing of this national hero, we should renew our pledge to eradicate discrimination from every sphere of society, and deepen our commitment to building a society that treats every human being with equal respect and dignity, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, or income; and

WHEREAS, it is entirely fitting and proper for the State of New Jersey to mourn the passing, and honor the memory of Thurgood Marshall, and to rededicate ourselves to the just and moral principles to which he devoted his life;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JIM FLORIO, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and by the Statutes, do hereby ORDER and DIRECT:

1. The flag of the United States of America and the flag of the State of New Jersey shall be flown at half-staff at all State departments, offices, agencies and instrumentalities during appropriate hours beginning on Monday, February 1, 1993 and through and including Wednesday, February 3, 1993 in recognition and mourning of the passing of Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall.

2. This order shall take effect immediately.

GIVEN, under my hand and seal this
29th day of January in the Year of Our
Lord, One Thousand Nine Hundred and
Ninety-Three, and of the Independence
of the United States, the Two Hundred
and Seventeenth.

/s/ James J. Florio


/s/ William Harla
Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor