Imagine if, prior to arguing Brown v. Board of Education on behalf of the NAACP, future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall instead had been forced by pro-Jim Crow judges to pay substantial penalties for “grossly abusing the judicial process” by asserting what they deemed to be frivolous arguments. Had that been the case, how long would the father of two children risked bankrupting his family by taking on additional cases and who would even replace him?
Imagine an America without the Brown decision or one in which Jim Crow was able to maintain its death grip on the south for another generation. Imagine an America in which lawyers dared not challenge the mightiest no matter how egregious their offenses may be for fear of financial ruin. No Thurgood Marshalls, no Ralph Naders and no Howard Shankers.