Interview with Judge John Minor Wisdom
QUESTION 14
INTERVIEWER:

WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS REFLECTS IN TERMS OF OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEM? IS THERE, A BASIC FLAW IN OUR SYSTEM BECAUSE OF THESE, THESE, THERE ARE THESE GAPS IN IT?

Judge John Minor Wisdom:

Well, the question whether there's a basic flaw in our judicial system is certainly a very difficult question to answer. I think that looking at the record of the system as a whole and considering what our court did and what many courageous district judges did, such as Frank Johnson and Skelly Right, and Simpson in Florida. Looking on at the record at a whole, I would say that it reflects that our system, works and it works well. And I think we should not be mislead by, into thinking that it did not work, simply because at the district court level, some judges either were recalcitrant or willing to issue orders contrary to the law. I'll give you an example of that. There was a judge in Savannah who had the, before him the question of desegregating the schools in Savannah. He had a full trial of the case and allowed evidence by experts to show that integration was bad for both races. And he made a finding of fact that it was bad for both races, and therefore he refused to order the schools in Savannah desegregated. Now that was after Brown. Well it took us about three days to reverse that order. Now, perhaps not that long. I know it was reversed almost immediately. When, in assessing the merits of the Federal judicial system, you shouldn't think of it in terms of that judges recalcitrance, you should think of it in terms of our courts prompt action to rectify his lack of a sense of justice if you want to call it that. Lack of his deference to the supreme court and to our court.