Illinois Justice
The Scandal of 1969 and the Rise of John Paul Stevens
Kenneth A. Manaster
With a Foreword by Justice Stevens
Publication date: 28 September 2001 ISBN 0-226-50243-0 cloth $27.50 £17.50
Illinois political scandals reached new depths in the 1960s and ë70s. In Illinois Justice, Ken Manaster takes us behind the scenes of one of the most spectacular. The so-called Scandal of 1969 not only spelled the end of an Illinois Supreme Court chief justiceís aspirations to the U.S. Supreme Court, but also marked the beginning of lawyer John Paul Stevensís rise to the High Court.
In 1969, citizen gadfly Sherman Skolnick accused the chief justice and another Illinois Supreme Court justice of accepting valuable bank stock from an influential Chicago lawyer in exchange for deciding an important case in the lawyerís favor. The feverish media coverage that resultedóa scandalous story in its own right, as Manaster revealsóprompted the state supreme court to appoint a special commission to investigate. Within six weeks and on a shoestring budget, the commission gathered a small volunteer staff and revealed the true facts. Stevens, then a relatively unknown Chicago lawyer, served as chief counsel. His work on this investigation would launch him into the public spotlight and onto the bench.
Manaster, who served on the commission staff, tells the real story of the investigation, detailing the dead ends, tactics, and triumphs. At the heart of the book is the tense courtroom drama that unfolded in July 1969. Manaster traces Stevensís masterful courtroom strategies, and vividly portrays the high-profile personalities involved (almost every member of the Illinois Supreme Court took the stand), as well as the subtleties of judicial corruption.
With a reflective foreword by Justice Stevens himself, Manasterís book is both a fascinating chapter of political history and a revealing portrait of the early career of a Supreme Court justice.
ìWhile Illinois has had its share of political scandals, this one has all the elements necessary for high drama. Manaster is in an ideal position to identify and probe fully all of the available sources for this sordid, but fascinating, chapter in Illinois political and legal history. Illinois Justice is a story tautly told, and one worth telling.î
óAbner J. Mikva, retired Chief Judge,
U. S. Court of Appeals, D. C. Circuit
Kenneth A. Manaster practiced law in Chicago from 1968 to 1972, including service as an Illinois Assistant Attorney General. He is a professor of law at Santa Clara University.
CONTACT: Betsy Solaro, 773-702-7898 fax 773-702-9756


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