Interview with Constance Baker Motley
QUESTION 32
INTERVIEWER:

I THINK YOU TALKED A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THAT TO US IN TERMS OF THAT BEING A REALLY A LESSON SOMETHING THAT WAS REALLY LEARNED IN, BY PEOPLE IN, BY JAMES MEREDITHS ENROLMENT, SOMETHING YOU HAD WON IN A SENSE, THE UNDERSTANDING BY MANY PEOPLE THAT THE FEDERAL COURTS UNDER GOVERNMENT WAS GOING TO BE THEIR ALLY. I REMEMBER TALKING WITH YOU ABOUT THIS, HOW IT WAS A LESSON IN HOW THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WORKED IN EFFECT.

Judge Constance Baker Motley:

Yes, I think one of the things about the Meredith case was that it demonstrated for the American people how the, the system really works. As I pointed out, the Supreme Court does not have any means by which to enforce its own decision. And it's rare indeed that a state government says in effect we're not going to abide by a decision of the United States Supreme Court. And certainly except for Arkansas and Alabama, the American people had never had to confront the issue of how a Supreme Court decision is to be enforced if there is resistance and so they learned that it is the duty of the President of the United States, not the Supreme Court to enforce Supreme Court decisions. And that is a president's sworn duty to uphold the law. And so that if state officials or anyone else says that he is not going to abide by a Supreme Court decision, that really presents a serious, grave constitutional crisis for the president.

FILM PRODUCTION TEAM:

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