Women in Law: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

By Rebecca Mae Salokar; Mary L. Volcansek | Go to book overview

CONSTANCE BAKER MOTLEY
(1921–)

While on a mission in Mississippi during the 1960s, Constance Baker Motley received a warning: “Put those papers inside the Times,’” her client told her, “We are being followed [by the state police]. We don’t want them to know who you are.” “There we were, frightened to death, driving to Meridian,” Motley said about that trip with James Meredith. “This occurred going through a wooded area. The state police just followed us all the way. They knew it was [Medgar Evers’] car, because they had been following him for years.”1

It was in Mississippi that Medgar Evers was hated, hounded, and within a year, killed.2 But it was not only in Mississippi that Motley, then with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (the Inc. Fund), was endangered. During a trial in Alabama, she stayed in Arthur Shores’s home in Birmingham and remembered that the lawyer’s home had been bombed about 15 times. “At night we were guarded by African-American men with machine guns, and during the day others carrying handguns escorted us to and from court.”3

Standing in harm’s way, Motley stood somewhere else as well. In her view, blacks stand on the shoulders of each paladin who has stood up for them.4 Where they stand, there, too, stand nonblacks, regardless of gender or other identification. To all of this, Motley’s life and work attest.


FAMILY BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION

Constance Baker was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on September 14, 1921, one of twelve children born to Willoughby Alva Baker and Rachel Huggins Baker, only six of whom survived infancy.5 Her father was a cook working in hotels, restaurants, and for a Yale University fraternity. Her parents, who had

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Women in Law: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Editorial Advisory Board vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Florence Ellinwood Allen (1884–1966) 17
  • Mary Arden (1947–) 25
  • Anita Augsburg (1857–1943) 31
  • Suzanne Bastid-Basdevant (1906–) 34
  • Miriam Ben-Porat (1918–) 38
  • Myra Bradwell (1831–1882) 45
  • Beverly Blair Cook (1927–) 51
  • Irene R. Cortes (1920–) 62
  • Takako Doi (1928–) 68
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933–) 78
  • Brenda Marjorie Hale (1945–) 88
  • Rosalyn Higgins (1937–) 94
  • Leonilde Iotti (1920–) 101
  • Barbara Charline Jordan (1936–1996) 112
  • Sylvie Kanigi (1953–) 118
  • Carrie Burnham Kilgore (1838–1909) 123
  • Helen Kinnear (1894–1970) 129
  • Claire L’Heureux-DubÉ (1927–) 136
  • Jutta Limbach (1934–) 144
  • Burnita Shelton Matthews (1894–1988) 150
  • Beverley McIachlin (1943–) 159
  • Soia Mentschikoff (1915–1984) 171
  • Constance Baker Motley (1921–) 180
  • Emily Ferguson Murphy (1868–1933) 190
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton (1938–) 202
  • Sandra Day O’Connor (1930–) 210
  • Sadako Ogata (1927–) 219
  • Cecilia MuÑoz Palma (1913–) 231
  • Tamar Pelleg-Sryck (1926–) 237
  • Janet Reno (1938–) 248
  • Mary Robinson (1944–) 257
  • Flerida Ruth P. Romero (193?–) 266
  • Simone RozÈs-Ludwig (1920–) 271
  • Wiltraut Rupp-Von BrÜnneck (1912–1977) 277
  • Helga Seibert (1939–) 283
  • Elisabeth Selbert (1896–1986) 288
  • Margaret a. Somerville (1942–) 292
  • Helene StÖcker (1869–1943) 299
  • Helen Suzman (1917–) 304
  • Leah Tsemel (1945–) 312
  • Agathe Uwilingiyimana (1953–1994) 323
  • Simone Veil-Jacob (1927–) 329
  • Bertha Wilson (1923–) 338
  • Appendix 349
  • Selected Bibliography 353
  • Index 357
  • About the Editors and Contributors 371
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