May 7, 2024

American Constitution Society Announces 2024 Constance Baker Motley Winner

Contact: Nancy Rodriguez,

Eva Quinones, New York University School of Law Class of 2024

Washington, D.C. – The American Constitution Society (ACS) has chosen a third-year law student attending New York University School of Law as the winner of the 2024 Constance Baker Motley National Student Writing Competition.

Eva Quinones (‘24) was selected as this year’s winner based on her paper, Hostile Voting Environments: Conceptualizing Race-Class Disparities in Polling Places as Disenfranchisement. In the paper, Quinones argues that hostile voting environments have a strong effect on the democratic participation of vulnerable populations and should be conceptualized in the same way as more direct disenfranchisement, like poll taxes. She contends hostile voting environments run afoul of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and statutory voting rights protections and that voter discouragement “presents a cognizable threat to full and equal political participation.”

The Constance Baker Motley Competition is presented by ACS and the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School ACS Student Chapter. It pays homage to Constance Baker Motley, the first Black women to serve as a federal judge and a trailblazing civil rights lawyer who played an instrumental role in advancing the cause of racial justice and equality in the United States.

Now in its 19th year, this year’s competition received entries from law students across the country. Eight finalists were selected, from which a panel of judges choose one winner and two runners-up.

This year’s runners-up are Gabriela Torres-Lorenzotti (‘25), a second-year law student at Yale Law School, for her paper, Promulgation of “Speech” by Blue Cities in Red States to Expand Abortion Access; and Micayla Bitz (‘24), a third-year law student at University of St. Thomas School of Law, for her paper, “Genetics Loaded the Gun,” But My Probation Officer Pulled the Trigger: Regulating Access to Behavioral Genetic Information in the Presentence Investigation.

Both the winner and runner–ups will receive a monetary award and Eva Quinones will be offered an opportunity to publish his paper in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law.

All three recipients will be recognized at ACS’s 2024 National Convention June 6-8 in Atlanta, Ga.


The American Constitution Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit, non-partisan legal organization. Through a diverse nationwide network of progressive lawyers, law students, judges, scholars, advocates, and many others, our mission is to support and advocate for laws and legal systems that redress the founding failures of our Constitution, strengthen our democratic legitimacy, uphold the rule of law, and realize the promise of equality for all, including people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and other historically excluded communities. For more information, visit us at or on Twitter @acslaw.