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Constance Baker Motley

Constance Baker Motley
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Brian Lanker, 31 Aug 1947 - 13 Mar 2011
Sitter
Constance Baker Motley, 14 Sep 1921 - 28 Sep 2005
Date
1988
Type
Photograph
Medium
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions
Image: 71.3 × 71.3 cm (28 1/16 × 28 1/16")
Sheet/Mount: 81.6 × 75.2 cm (32 1/8 × 29 5/8")
Mat: 88.4 × 87 cm (34 13/16 × 34 1/4")
Topic
Interior
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair
Home Furnishings\Lighting Devices\Lamp
Interior\Courthouse
Constance Baker Motley: Female
Constance Baker Motley: Politics and Government\State Legislator
Constance Baker Motley: Law and Law Enforcement\Jurist
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; partial gift of Lynda Lanker and a museum purchase made possible with generous support from Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker, Agnes Gund, Kate Kelly and George Schweitzer, Lyndon J. Barrois Sr. and Janine Sherman Barrois, and Mark and Cindy Aron
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Copyright
© Brian Lanker Archive
Object number
NPG.2021.126
Exhibition Label
Born New Haven, Connecticut
“Something which we think is impossible now is not impossible in another decade.”
—Constance Baker Motley
In a career dedicated to the pursuit of equal justice, Constance Baker Motley broke barriers as a civil rights attorney and federal judge. A Columbia Law School graduate (1946), Motley built her career with the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, advancing from assistant counsel (1950) to associate counsel (1961). She prepared briefs for the landmark school desegregation case of Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and represented the NAACP in subsequent litigation that successfully dismantled many segregation laws of the Jim Crow era.
Winning nine of the ten civil rights cases she argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, Motley achieved a significant victory by securing James Meredith’s admission to the University of Mississippi (1962). When President Lyndon Johnson successfully nominated her to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1966, Motley became the first Black woman federal judge.
Nacida en New Haven, Connecticut
“Lo que creemos imposible ahora no será imposible dentro de una década.”
—Constance Baker Motley
Con una vida dedicada a lograr la justicia igualitaria, Constance Baker Motley rompió barreras como abogada de derechos civiles y jueza federal. Se graduó de la Escuela de Derecho de Columbia (1946) y desarrolló su carrera con el Fondo de Defensa Legal y Educación de la NAACP, ascendiendo de abogada asistente (1950) a asociada (1961). Fue ella quien preparó los informes jurídicos para el histórico caso Brown v. Consejo de Educación (1954) en torno a la desegregación en las escuelas y representó a la NAACP en otros litigios que lograron revocar muchas leyes segregacionistas.
Motley ganó nueve de los diez casos de derechos civiles que litigó ante el Tribunal Supremo de EE.UU. Una de sus victorias fue lograr la admisión de James Meredith a la Universidad de Misisipi (1962). Nominada por el presidente Lyndon Johnson al Tribunal de Distrito de EE.UU. para el Distrito Sur de Nueva York en 1966, fue la primera mujer negra que ocupó un puesto de juez federal.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery