Interview with Constance Baker Motley


Judge Constance Baker Motley:

Well of course I think that there's one thing certainly that Earl Warren will be remembered for throughout history and that is his decision in the Brown case as I have said—and particularly the fact that the decision was unanimous. As I've told you in my view, unless that decision were unanimous, it would have meant even greater resistance than it did in an attempt to enforce it. And I think the unanimity came about as a result of Earl Warren's leadership. After all, as a chief justice he had the responsibility of trying to get the court to be unanimous so that the decision would represent the thinking of all of the judges and you wouldn't get lawyers trying to come back day after day, hoping they could get a five to four decision reversed. And he knew that would happen unless the decision was unanimous and that the turmoil which the decision was creating even then, would be greatly intensified. So as I have said, I think it was his leadership role, for which he deserves the greatest applause.


Room tone. Camera Roll 145, Sound Roll 11. . .? Sound 13.