THE APPEARANCE OF JUSTICE by John P. MacKenzie

THE APPEARANCE OF JUSTICE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Washington Post writer MacKenzie reviews impropriety in the federal courts (as distinct from the grunginess of the lower courts), and advises officials like William Douglas and Abe Fortas to be more seemly about potential conflicts of interest. He also details such ploys as the Velvet Blackjack, whereby a judge pre-empts attack by asking the lawyer if he dares object to the fact that the judge happens to be a stockholder in the company at issue. And MacKenzie maps out such obscure but important institutions as the Judicial Conference of the United States; along the way even the hapless name of Homer Thornberry comes to light again. The book will be a major reference for Ralph Nader types, with its factual density and sensible proposals for rules of disclosure and conduct. Yet MacKenzie ignores, for example, the problem of conspiracy laws, and the question of whether judicial backing for a behavior modification program is ethical just because none of the justices owns stock in the company providing drugs for the program. In blocking out certain basic questions about ""justice"" in the 1970's, the book gravely dilutes the power of its important critique.

Pub Date: June 7th, 1974
Publisher: Scribners