Interview with Constance Baker Motley
QUESTION 9
INTERVIEWER:

HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK WAS THE UNANIMITY OF THE COURT'S DECISION IN THE BROWN CASE AND HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU THINK THE CHIEF JUSTICE'S ROLE WAS—OR WARREN'S ROLE WAS—IN MOLDING THAT?

Judge Constance Baker Motley:

I think that it was very important for the successful implementation of the Brown decision that the decision was unanimous and I think the credit for that goes to Earl Warren who was the Chief Justice of the United States at that time. I think that he perceived that there would be tremendous resistance to the supreme court decision if it was five to four for example that this would encourage the opponents of desegregation to try over and over again to get the court to hear the case again and probably switch that vote which gave the decision to blacks. And so when the decision was unanimous that was a statement, a really political statement frankly, that the national policy of this country is integration, of blacks into the mainstream of American life. So it was crucial to its implementation that that decision be unanimous.