Education A National Roundup

Obituary: Judge Pursued Civil Rights

By Ann Bradley — October 04, 2005 1 min read

Constance Baker Motley, the first black woman named to the federal bench and part of the legal team that argued the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka school desegregation case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1954, died Sept. 21. She was 84 and suffered from congestive heart failure.

Judge Motley won nine of the 10 cases she argued as a lawyer before the Supreme Court, including that of James Meredith, a black student, when he won admission to the University of Mississippi. She served on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 05, 2005 edition of Education Week