Thursday, March 26, 2009

Constance Baker Motley

Lawyer and judge, born in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. While a student at Columbia University (1946 LLB), she worked as a clerk for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's legal defence and education fund, then took a full-time post there (1946–65). She successfully argued nine cases before the US Supreme Court, including those of James Meredith and Autherine Lucy. In 1964 she became the first African-American woman to be elected to the New York state senate, and became president of Manhattan Borough (1965–6). She became the first black woman federal judge when President Lyndon Johnson appointed her to the US District Court for the S District of New York (1966). In 1982–6 she served as chief judge, becoming senior judge in 1986. Motley died in a Manhattan hospital on September 28, 2005 at age 84. Courtesy of:

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