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Maryland Supreme Court posthumously admits Black man to bar, 166 years after rejecting him

BALTIMORE, Md. (AP) — More than a century after Edward Garrison Draper was rejected for the Maryland Bar due to his race, he has been posthumously admitted. News outlets report the Supreme Court of Maryland attempted to right the past wrong by holding a special session Thursday to admit Draper, who was Black, to practice law in the state. Draper presented himself as a candidate to practice law in 1857 and a judge found him “qualified in all respects” — except for his skin color. Maryland Supreme Court Justice Shirley M. Watts said it was the state’s first posthumous admission to the bar and called the overdue admission an indication of “just how far our society and the legal profession have come.”

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