Interview with Constance Baker Motley
QUESTION 27
INTERVIEWER:

YOU DON'T THINK IT WOULD HAVE BEEN, YOU'RE SAYING IN OTHER WORDS, YOU THINK IT WAS APPROPRIATE, THE POINT AT WHICH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ENTERED THE CASE?

Judge Constance Baker Motley:

Well, yes, they should have entered as a friend of the court earlier, when we brought the suit. But they like everybody else, was hoping that we wouldn't have to face this ultimate test of federal versus state power and that's what it was: again a struggle on the part of the national government to impose or enforce rather a decision of the United States Supreme Court in a state that wanted to resist. Now that doesn't happen very often in our history. And everyone knew that that would be traumatic for the country and it was. And so like everyone else the government was hoping that they wouldn't have to face that trauma.