University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
 
Name Carter, Robert Lee
City New York
State NY
Role(s) Attorney
Judge : Federal, Article III
Race African-American
Gender M
Biographical
Judge Robert Carter was a civil rights lawyer and an eminent judge.

In 1944 upon completion of his "stormy career in the Army Air Force" (Kluger, Simple Justice (1975), p. 272), he went to work as a legal assistant to Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. ... read more
Judge Robert Carter was a civil rights lawyer and an eminent judge.

In 1944 upon completion of his "stormy career in the Army Air Force" (Kluger, Simple Justice (1975), p. 272), he went to work as a legal assistant to Thurgood Marshall at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The next year he became an assistant special counsel at the LDF. Carter was one of the lead attorneys on Sweatt v. Painter and Brown and worked on the many other matters of the fund in those years, including Sipuel v. Board of Regents of Oklahoma. In 1956 Carter succeeded Thurgood Marshall as the LDF's general counsel. Over the course of his tenure at the LDF, Carter argued or co-argued and won twenty-one of twenty-two cases in the Supreme Court. Among the most important cases Carter worked on after Brown was NAACP v. Alabama (1958), in which the Supreme Court held that the NAACP could not be required to make its membership lists public. This removed a tool of intimidation employed by some southern states after Brown was decided.

Carter left the NAACP in 1968 and worked in a private law firm until 1972 when he was appointed to the bench as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.



This additional biographical data was taken from the Federal Judicial Center [link] on Aug 15, 2016:

Carter, Robert Lee
Born March 11, 1917, in Careyville, FL
Died January 3, 2012, in New York, NY

Federal Judicial Service:
Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
Nominated by Richard M. Nixon on June 15, 1972, to a seat vacated by Thomas F. Croake. Confirmed by the Senate on July 21, 1972, and received commission on July 25, 1972. Assumed senior status on December 31, 1986. Service terminated on January 3, 2012, due to death.

Education:
Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, A.B., 1937
Howard University School of Law, LL.B., 1940
Columbia Law School, LL.M., 1941

Professional Career:
U.S. Army lieutenant, Air Corps, 1941-1944
NAACP, 1944-1968; legal assistant, 1944-1945; assistant special counsel, 1945-1956; general counsel, 1956-1968
Director, veteran affairs, American Veterans Committee, 1948-1949
Special assistant U.S. attorney, Southern District of New York, 1962
Fellow, Columbia University Urban Center, 1968-1969
Private practice, New York City, 1969-1972

Research Collections
Oral History

compress summary

Case(s) FH-MO-0002 : Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co.
IM-NY-0004 : Betrand v. Sava
IM-NY-0012 : De Figueiredo v. Trans World Airlines, Inc.
PC-NY-0032 : Hurley v. Coughlin
SD-KS-0001 : Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka


Additional Resources
 
Case Studies "Robert L. Carter oral history interview conducted by Patricia Sullivan in New York, New York, 2010-10-23"
Written: Oct. 23, 2010
By: Robert Carter / Patricia Sullivan (Civil Rights History Project (U.S.))
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Web Resources Robert L. Carter
http://www.brownat50.org
By: BrownAt50.org
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Henry Hampton Collection: Interview of Hon. Robert Lee Carter
Henry Hampton Collection: Washington University in St. Louis
Written: Nov. 5, 1985
By: Robert Lee Carter, Henry Hampton Collection
[ External Link ]


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