On a cold day in January, President-elect Kerry Kilcannon takes the oath of office—and within days makes his first, most important move: appointing a new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Kilcannon’s choice is a female judge with a brilliant record. And a secret.
While the Senate spars over Caroline Masters’s nomination, an inflammatory abortion rights case is making its way toward the judge—and will explode into the headlines. Suddenly, the most divisive issue in America turns the President’s nomination into all-out war. And from Judge Masters to a conservative, war-hero senator facing a crisis of conscience and a fifteen-year-old girl battling for her future, no one will be safe.
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|Title of Suspense & Thrillers eBook: Protect and Defend|
|Release Date: 08-12-2003|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Protect and Defend|
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Protect and Defend
Chapter One"I, Kerry Francis Kilcannon . . ."
In a high clear voice, carrying a trace of Irish lilt, Kerry Kilcannon repeated the historic phrases intoned by Chief Justice Roger Bannon.
The two men faced each other on the patio which fronted the west side of the Capitol, surrounded by guests and officeholders and watched from greater distances by thousands of well-wishers who covered the grounds below. The noonday was bright but chill; a heavy snow had fallen overnight, and the mist of Bannon's words hung in the air between them. Though Kerry wore the traditional morning coat, those around him huddled with their collars up and hands shoved in the pockets of much heavier coats. Protected only by his traditional robe, the Chief Justice looked bloodless, an old man who shivered in the cold, heightening the contrast with Kerry Kilcannon.
Kerry was forty-two, and his slight frame and thatch of chestnut hair made him seem startlingly young for the office. At his moment of accession, both humbling and exalting, the three people he loved most stood near: his mother, Mary Kilcannon; Clayton Slade, his closest friend and the new Chief of Staff; and his fiancée, Lara Costello, a broadcast journalist who enhanced the aura of youth and vitality which was central to Kerry's appeal. "When Kerry Kilcannon enters a room," a commentator had observed, "he's in Technicolor, and everyone else is in black-and-white."
Despite that, Kerry knew with regret, he came to the presidency a divisive figure. His election last November had been bitter and close: only at dawn of the next morning, when the final count in California went narrowly to Kerry, had Americans kn...