Robert Caro, the historian and philosopher once stated that “power doesn’t always corrupt, what it does is reveal.” This is true and add the fact that when power, specifically unjust power is challenged, it will do everything and anything it can to crush it. In Montgomery County, that battle of power is playing out with the political establishment trying to silence a black woman who dared stand against the status quo. That woman is Marylin Pierre and the county is trying to have her law license stripped away. Let us examine this tragic comedy.
Who is Marylin Pierre?
Before we get into the scenario, a background of who Ms. Pierre is will provide the context. Marylin Pierre is a black woman born in Haiti, the first black republic established in the western hemisphere by Toussaint L’Ouverture and Jean Jacques Dessalines. This is important to note as just like her ancestors, Marylin exhibits this exact revolutionary spirit. As a child, her parents brought her and her family here to the United States to be given a better life and to be part of the American Dream. At an early age, she was inspired to have a legal career after listening to the legal arguments presented by Thurgood Marshall. She has served this country retiring as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army as a military police officer and is a graduate of Howard University School of Law.
During her thirty-plus-year legal career, Marylin has won numerous court cases and has presented before the United States Supreme Court. At the same time that Marylin was advocating for equitable representation, she won awards and citations from local business leaders, the Governor of the State of Maryland, the United States Senate, and the United States House of Representatives. Marylin is also the recipient of the prestigious Leadership in Law award.
In addition, Marylin has also been heavily involved in the community in which she serves working with the NAACP, the Montgomery Historical Society, and various bar associations. With a record such as this, in an ideal world, a woman and a lawyer such as Marylin would not only be celebrated but also, be recommended for a judgeship to provide equal justice under the law. Unfortunately in this world, this is not the case.
Continuing on from the previous paragraph, Marylin decided in 2018 to run for Judge in Montgomery County, Maryland. While she did not win that race, it did help lay a foundation for her second run in 2020. In 2020, she placed third out of four in the Democratic primary. On paper, that meant that Marylin was due to win a judge’s seat. Instead what happened is that the chair of her opponent’s campaign, Stephen McAuliffe, the son, nephew, and cousin of Montgomery County judges, began spreading falsehoods about Marylin’s character. This was done by saying that Marylin made comments about the judiciary. What exactly were those comments? The comments that Marylin made were calling out the criminal justice system in Maryland as Maryland incarcerates more of its young Black males than any other state in the country. That is not an opinion but a fact that the Justice Policy Institute concluded after extensive and exhaustive research.
In other words, Marylin was holding the judicial system accountable for the role it played in the mass incarceration of black men in the state. There is a certain irony in all of this: For the longest time both Democrats and Republicans have told black people that if they want to change things, they should run for office. What they actually mean is to run for office on their terms and to kiss their ring. Marylin however is a warrior and will not kiss the ring or bend the knee to a power structure that seeks to feed bodies to the prison industrial complex.
So a grievance was filed against her saying she lied on her application and that she has said things that do not put the judiciary in a good light. The commissioner who is overseeing this, Lydia Lawless, has political aspirations herself and is heading this farcical case in an attempt to silence Marylin Pierre. This ordeal has cost Marylin not only time but money as she has had to hire an attorney since her malpractice carrier is aware that she has not been accused of legal malpractice. The message that the establishment is sending is twofold: Don’t dare rise up against us and if we can bankrupt you in the process, we can and we will.
Supreme Court of Maryland
What happens next is that now Marylin has to go before the Supreme Court of Maryland to keep her license. Those of us who love justice must show up to support Marylin and let the establishment know that the People always win. If she loses, it means one less stalwart to fight for black liberation. February 2, 2023, at 9:30, in the Supreme Court of Maryland, 351 Rowe Boulevard in Annapolis, Maryland is the place to show that the People always Win!!!
#BlackLawyersMatter #BlackLivesMatter #EndNepotism
Robert Alex Stubblefield is a poet, author, activist and organizer currently located in the DMV. He is a member of the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition, Racial Justice Now!, Montgomery County Chapter of Democratic Socialists of America, Young People for Progress and a host of other organizations. He has been published in Black Agenda Report, Maryland Matters and Medium. When not fighting the power, he can be found exercising or hanging with friends and family.