The Public Interest

The Court as Best Seller

Robert H. Bork

Spring 1980

BOB WOODWARD describes The Brethren, the “insider’s view” of the Supreme Court he wrote with Scott Armstrong, as a book that “could even be called ‘The Making of the Law, 1969 to 1976.’” “People have a sense that the Court’s important-its remote, obscure, and the average person cant fathom the language. And here are journalists saying, ‘Here’s how it works and what it means.’” The book, in truth, does none of those things. Those who take it seriously will be misinformed about how the law is made, how the Court works, and-most especially-about what any of it means. Abe Burroughs, attending the premiere of “The Hucksters,” Hollywood’s “inside” version of Madison Avenue, remarked, “Its a devastating expose-of the movie industry.” So it is with The Brethren. It backfires.  The book adds little to our knowledge of the Court, but it raises disturbing questions about the practice of “investigative journalism.”

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