Abstract: The judicial role in the construction of the twentieth-century state was decisively structured by the interaction of developments in jurisprudence and by changes in the organization of the regulation of economic activity. Individual judges brought their backgrounds and political predispositions to the task as well, and we will gain a full understanding of the judicial role in structuring the state only by integrating biography, jurisprudence, and political economy. This article examines the work of Justice Thurgood Marshall in constructing the post-New Deal settlement of the relations among people in their capacity as consumers, people in their capacity as workers, and capital. That settlement was expressed in legal forms that departed from the common law doctrines that had for two centuries provided one of the legitimating ideologies of social relations. With the construction of the administrative state came the need to reconstitute not only the legal structures that supported the agencies of government, but also the ideological structures that explained the legitimacy of these innovations. While legal academics articulated carefully thought out defenses of the administrative state, judges provided the citizenry with less developed but, perhaps, more easily understood ideologies. Justice Marshall's work in areas of labor law and civil procedure provides insight into the dimensions of the legal legitimation of the administrative state, while his unique experience as a lawyer and his place within the Court illuminate the importance of biographical factors in a full explanation of the construction of the legal structures of the administrative state.