Constance Baker Motley (1921-2005), born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, was recognized by Resolution of the United States House of Representatives of the 110th Congress in 2007 for her
“lifelong commitment to the advancement of civil rights and social justice.”
Motley was the first female staff attorney NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF), hired by then Chief Counsel Thurgood Marshall.
She argued and won many of the defining cases in the civil rights movement, including those to desegregate schools and universities, housing, transportation, and public accommodations.
Motley later became the first Black woman appointed as a federal judge, rising to Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1982. Learn more.