This is a famous Lenny Bruce quote but I am unable to understand it. What does it mean?

The only justice is in the halls, i.e. outside the courtroom. There is no justice inside the courtroom; it's in the "halls" outside the formal proceedings. Deals are made "in the halls" outside the courtroom. You get your best deal "in the halls" or "outside the courtroom". That's where you get justice; by negotiating, dealing, making your best deal.

  • I think It implies there is no any justice. I am not sure, I've inferred that form the negative suggestion of "only" (or negative impression). Lets see what the native people say ? – Cardinal Aug 23 '15 at 19:34

It's a mild play on words: the "halls of justice" are the imposing buildings where Law is carried out, a metonymy for Law itself in all its grandeur and majesty. Bruce uses the word halls in a very different sense as the corridors which link the courtrooms: to say that justice is only in the halls outside the courtroom implies that there is no justice within the courtroom.

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    The corridors are where the lawyers cut deals (such as plea bargains). I don't think Lenny would have considered that "justice", either. – Brian Hitchcock Aug 24 '15 at 5:53
  • @BrianHitchcock It's not one of his great lines. But great lines weren't his thing. – StoneyB on hiatus Aug 24 '15 at 10:53

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