The forgotten memoir of John Knox : a year in the life of a Supreme Court clerk in FDR's Washington
Transcription of Annotations
Notes and front and back endpapers show Justice James C. McReynolds to be racist, stingy, and inconsiderate. For example, he ordered John Knox to stop being friendly with Harry and Mary, who were black. In another instance Knox writes that he was told by McReynolds to write an opinion over the weekend which the judge then threw away. When Judge Cardozo died suddenly of a heart attack, McReynolds didn't want to go to court for a tribute Cardozo. Other notes refer to "The red book", which contains votes and is burned every year; the Supreme Court's two-tiered approach to the law, which is the theoretical axis of modern judicial review: 1) leave control of economy to states and Congress; 2) but use its power to protect rights and groups, religion, speech and minorities; a bill that would give FDR the "authority to name an additional federal judge for every incumbent who had been on the bench for at least ten years and who had not resigned within six months after reaching seventy years of age". Two Supreme Court decisions are referred to in the notes: the Minimum Wage decision, where the Court reversed itself, and the General Welfare decision on May 24, 1937. -- These statements are part of the notes: "[Knox] had a dozen letters from Brandeis; [he] met Holmes at his Beverly Farms home; [he] met Alger Hiss in his Washington home." - "[McReynolds] wouldn't let Knox et al listen to the King's abdication speech; Knox's opinion of McReynolds went down another notch." -- Annotations by Brian Lamb in the margins and underlining of pertinent phrases throughout the book.