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A newly elected president faces the unexpected chance to nominate a new chief justice of the Supreme Court. His first choice is a nationally respected Court of Appeals judge, a woman whose nomination faces two serious obstacles: a long-held personal secret; and the prospect that a volatile abortion case--a trial pitting a 15-year old girl against her pro-life parents--will come before the court. And, the Senate majority leader is determined to thwart the president's nomination for reasons that cross the boundary between the political and the personal.
As these stories intertwine, building in complexity and suspense, Patterson gives us the resounding clash of competing ambitions between the president and the majority leader; the equally momentous collision of science and culture in the courtroom; and, in an unprecedented novelistic depection of the legal process from the perspective of the judge rather than the lawyers, a revelation of both how the judicial system works and how it intersects with politics, for better and for worse.
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Richard North Patterson, whose legal thrillers have won him legions of devoted mystery fans, shows off his superb pacing and narrative gifts as well as his ability to create vividly realized characters in this compelling novel of late-term abortion, parental consent, and the battle over a nominee for chief justice of the Supreme Court. Unlike Patterson's typical courtroom dramas, the name of this game isn't murder; it's the body politic that's bleeding. When newly elected Democratic president Kerry Kilcannon nominates appeals court judge Caroline Masters to the top spot on the court, he knows he'll have a fight on his hands. Leading the opposition is his political rival, MacDonald Gage, the GOP majority leader who owes his soul and career to the Christian right wing. They're suspicious of Masters even before a politically charged case involving a teenager whose parents refuse to allow her to terminate a disastrous pregnancy ends up in her court. More principled than Gage, but equally adamant, is Republican senator Chad Palmer, who, like Masters, harbors his own potentially career-destroying secret.
Masters is an intriguing character, a woman whose judicial integrity, personal privacy, and political ambitions collide when she casts a tie-breaking vote on the constitutionality of the recently enacted Protection of Life bill. Not only young Mary Anne Tierney's future is at stake: so are the reproductive rights of all women, the resilience of the judicial system, and the personal lives of innocent bystanders who will be sacrificed on the altar of the First Amendment--the public's right to know, and the media's right to tell. Moving swiftly between the courts of public opinion and the federal judiciary, from San Francisco to the nation's capital, Patterson tells a mesmerizing story that's been praised by political and legal luminaries such as Mario Cuomo, Barbara Boxer, and Alan Dershowitz. But don't let that stop you. This up-to-date version of Advise and Consent is a provocative read that will resonate with political junkies as well as those who've made bestsellers out of Patterson's more typical genre thrillers. --Jane AdamsFrom the Back Cover:
"PROTECT AND DEFEND IS A WINNER. . . . ENGROSSING FROM THE FIRST PAGE . . . Patterson crank[s] up a wild ride on a roller coaster of morality, politics, and emotions."
"POWERFUL . . . RIVETING FROM BEGINNING TO END . . . With Protect and Defend, Richard North Patterson lays further claim to being one of America’s best contemporary popular novelists."
--The Detroit News
"BRILLIANT . . . PATTERSON HAS CAUGHT LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE. . . . PUT THIS ONE AT THE TOP OF YOUR HOT LIST."
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Book Description Hutchinson, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 91794080