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Publisher's Summary

In Washington, the newly elected young president, Kerry Kilcannon, faces his first test: the sudden death of the chief justice of the United States has created a vacancy at the heart of a sharply divided Supreme Court. In San Francisco, an unknown 15-year-old girl, Mary Ann Tierney, wants to sue for permission to have a late-term abortion over the opposition of her pro-life parents.President Kilcannon resolves to nominate Caroline Masters - a brilliant jurist shadowed by a personal secret - as the next chief justice. In the Senate, two men who hope to succeed Kilcannon hold the key to her nomination: Majority Leader Macdonald Gage, and his bitter rival, Chad Palmer, a former military hero noted for his political independence. A hidden alliance between Kilcannon and Palmer is threatened when Mary Ann Tierney's inflammatory, nationally televised lawsuit thrusts the issue of abortion to the forefront of the Senate battle over the Masters nomination.As the Tierney case moves to its dramatic climax, it poses a stark choice - between preserving the life of a potentially doomed fetus and putting Mary Ann's fertility at risk. The trial's legal and political dangers are equally clear: to the future of the pro-choice and pro-life movements; to the gifted but inexperienced woman lawyer who represents Mary Ann Tierney; to the bitterly divided and politicized appellate court that must review the trial, and on which Caroline Masters serves; to the president who has chosen her; to the powerful forces who wish to defeat her by any means at hand.
©2000 Richard North Patterson; (P)2000 Random House, Inc.; Random House AudioBooks, a Division of Random House, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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By Vicki G on 01-04-05

Future ability to bear children

It's only fair to be correct on the central issue of the legal fight in this book - protecting the teenager's ability to have future children, not racing the calendar before the probably-nonviable fetus was beyond 6 months old and permanently damaged the mother's ability to have more children.

The legal arguments on both sides of the law requiring teenagers to obtain parental consent to abortion were interesting. In addition, the political maneuvering over the appointment of a Supreme Court judge were too realistic for comfort. I recommend this book with the caviat that you will examine your personal philosophies on abortion, right to privacy, rights of teenagers versus parents, and lifestyle choices of public officials because of the content.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful


By John on 03-13-05

Able to see both sides

As a father and grandfather I can see the parent's point of view, but I can also see amd understand the daughter's side of the issue. If we are at a pont where we can only write politically neutral books, it's become a sorry state of affairs. All in all it was simply a great political mystery thriller that kept me wishing I could spend more time in the car listening to it to see what would happen next.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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By rosemarie on 07-26-15

disappointed

I didn't finish this...didn't grab me at all. disappointed as I have liked his other books

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By liz on 11-21-11

Protect and Defend

Richard North Patterson is such an incisive writer than one can become addicted. the narration was superb
and I loved it

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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By Bruce Beer on 10-17-16

beautifully narrated

well written, an engrossing story, unforgettable characters. I loved it. RNP is my favorite author.

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