Constance Baker Motley

Posted by R. Neal

Civil rights lawyer Baker Motley dies:

She went to law school and found herself fighting racism in landmark segregation cases including Brown v. Board of Education, the Central High School case in Arkansas and the case that let James Meredith enroll at the University of Mississippi.

Motley also broke barriers herself: She was the first black woman appointed to the federal bench, as well the first one elected to the New York state Senate.

Motley, who would have celebrated her 40th anniversary on the bench next year, died Wednesday of congestive heart failure at NYU Downtown Hospital, said her son, Joel Motley III. She was 84.

A remarkable woman and a remarkable life.