Interview with Judge Robert Carter
QUESTION 12
INTERVIEWER:

YOU WERE DESCRIBING THURGOOD, MAYBE YOU COULD START WITH HIS NAME.

Judge Robert Carter:

Well, Thurgood Marshall was very good to work—work with, and he was very supportive. He's easy, happy go-lucky, easygoing person. And I was his sort of chief of staff, and what he allowed me to do was to argue, go into left field, and argue these things, and against people with the other lawyers around who on our committee, who might not agree, and invariably he'd choose to go in the more radical direction. So that's how it happened. I think what he was doing was getting these opinions and forcing those of us who wanted to attack segregation head on or do various other things to defend ourselves against the more conservative people who were supporting us, and well, from my point of view conservative, I don't know. And then he'd make the choice, and then—it was very, very good to work with him. And he would protect, he protected us from all the politics in the organization and we were free to—I was free, and the rest of us were free to present any kind of idea that we wanted as long as it—we thought it made sense. If it didn't make sense, he'd laugh you out of it, but you could, you were really free to present it. No fear about that. And the—you were fully protected from any repercussions from any of the ideas that you brought forward, or operate. It was very good working for him.