Constance Baker Motley, James Meredith, and The University of Mississippi
In 1961, James Meredith applied for admission to the University of Mississippi. Although he was qualified, he was rejected -- Meredith was black, and the University had never admitted a black student. Represented by Constance Baker Motley and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Meredith sued in federal court in Mississippi, alleging that the University denied him admission because of his race. The ensuing battle required repeated trips to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, intervention by the Supreme Court of the United States, and ultimately, the deployment of federal troops.