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2024 Constance Baker Motley Forever First Class Postage Stamps

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Constance Baker Motley started her career in 1945 when she began working for the future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

From 1945 to 1965, Motley worked on about 60 cases that reached the Supreme Court. She won nine of the 10 cases she argued before the Court.

In 1966, Motley was nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York — the largest and busiest federal trial court in the country. She rose to chief judge in 1982 and senior judge in 1986.

The stamp features a portrait of Motley by artist Charly Palmer, based on an Associated Press photograph. Rendered in acrylic on canvas work, the portrait displays elements of Palmer’s signature style. The stenciled circular shapes around the head suggest royalty, and the heavy brushstrokes and scratches provide added textures. Stenciled curlicues embellish the lower background and continue onto Motley’s black dress. Her colorful corsage and a brooch further enliven the image.