Interview with Constance Baker Motley
QUESTION 23
INTERVIEWER:

THE FIFTH CIRCUIT ALSO CALLED THE, CHARACTERIZED THE EARLIER TRIAL IN THE DISTRICT COURT TRIAL AS BEING CONDUCTED IN THE EERIE ATMOSPHERE OF NEVER- NEVER LAND, I'M WONDERING IF THAT WAS TRUE?

Judge Constance Baker Motley:

Well, of course the trial of the Meredith case took a long time. When we first went before Judge Mise, I believe that he immediately denied us a preliminary injunction and we appealed that to the Fifth Circuit and the Fifth Circuit upheld that denial and said that we should go back and try the case in its entirety and we did that and of course as I've said the state took a long time because it had brought in Meredith's Army record which it went through and it did all kinds of things to delay the ultimate day. And [so?] the trial did have some bizarre aspects. Normally the trial should not have lasted as long as it did, but you had to understand there was a strategy operating here and that was the strategy of delay, and hopefully a strategy which would derail James Meredith in his effort to enter the University of Mississippi.