Code of Silence: Sexual Misconduct by Federal Judges, the Secret System That Protects Them, and the Women Who Blew the Whistle

Code of Silence: Sexual Misconduct by Federal Judges, the Secret System That Protects Them, and the Women Who Blew the Whistle

by Lise Olsen
Code of Silence: Sexual Misconduct by Federal Judges, the Secret System That Protects Them, and the Women Who Blew the Whistle

Code of Silence: Sexual Misconduct by Federal Judges, the Secret System That Protects Them, and the Women Who Blew the Whistle

by Lise Olsen

Hardcover

$23.95  $26.95 Save 11% Current price is $23.95, Original price is $26.95. You Save 11%.
  • SHIP THIS ITEM
    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Tuesday, February 27
  • PICK UP IN STORE
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


Overview

Winner of the 2021 IRE Book Award

Winner of the 2022 Texas Institute of Letters Carr P. Collins Award for Best Book of Nonfiction

In the age of #MeToo, learn how brave whistleblowers have dared to lift the federal court’s veil of secrecy to expose powerful judges who appear to defy laws they have sworn to uphold

Code of Silence tells the story of federal court employee Cathy McBroom, who had to flee her job as a case manager in Galveston, Texas, after enduring years of sexual harassment and assault by her boss—US District Judge Samuel Kent. Following a decade of firsthand reporting at the Houston Chronicle, investigative reporter Lise Olsen charts McBroom’s assault and the aftermath, when McBroom was thrust into the role of whistleblower to denounce a federal judge.

What Olsen discovered by investigating McBroom’s story and other federal judicial misconduct matters nationwide was shocking. With the help of other federal judges, Kent was being protected by a secretive court system that has long tolerated or ignored complaints about corruption, sexism, and sexual misconduct—enabling him to remain in office for years. Other powerful judges accused of judicial misconduct were never investigated and remain in power or retired with full pay, such as US Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski and Kozinski’s mentee, Brett Kavanaugh.

McBroom’s ultimate triumph is a rare story of redemption and victory as Judge Kent became the first and only federal judge to be impeached for sexual misconduct. Olsen also weaves in narratives of other brave women across the country who, at great personal risk, have reported federal judges to reveal how sexual harassment and assault occur elsewhere inside the federal court system. The accounts of the women and their allies who are still fighting for reforms are moving, intimate, and inspiring—including whistleblowers and law professors like Leah Litman, Emily Murphy, and novelist Heidi Bond, who emerged to denounce Kozinski in 2017. A larger group of women—and men—banded together to form a group called Law Clerks for Accountability, which is continuing to push for more reforms to the courts’ secretive complaint review system.

Code of Silence also reveals the role the press plays in holding systems of power in check. Kent would not have been charged had it not been for Olsen’s reporting and the Houston Chronicle’s commitment to the story.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807008676
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication date: 10/26/2021
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 693,469
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Lise Olsen is a senior investigative reporter whose work has appeared in the Texas Observer, InsideClimate News, and the Houston Chronicle, as well as in documentaries on CNN and A&E. Olsen has more than 20 years’ experience specializing primarily in crime, corruption, worker safety, and human rights. She has extensively covered federal judicial corruption sagas, including the initially secret sexual assault complaint and subsequent impeachment of a federal judge, as well as other misconduct cases. Her reports have inspired laws and reforms, spurred official investigations and prosecutions, restored names to unidentified murder victims, and freed dozens of wrongfully held prisoners. Follow her on Twitter (@lisedigger).

Table of Contents

PROLOGUE
The Tip

PART I: CASTES OF THE COURTS

CHAPTER 1
An Awkward Encounter

CHAPTER 2
Flight

CHAPTER 3
Kings of the Courts

CHAPTER 4
Chambers and Secrets

CHAPTER 5
The Reluctant Whistleblower

PART II: THE SECRET SYSTEM

CHAPTER 6
The Complaint

CHAPTER 7
Her Honor

CHAPTER 8
A Botched Investigation

INTERLUDE
The Exposé

CHAPTER 9
A Corrupt Judge

PART III: JUDGMENT DAY FOR JUDGES

CHAPTER 10
The Keeper of Secrets

CHAPTER 11
A Criminal Probe

CHAPTER 12
Person B

CHAPTER 13
The Path to Impeachment

CHAPTER 14
Another Encounter with Judge Kozinski

CHAPTER 15
Calls for Reform—and a Backlash

EPILOGUE
The Quilter

Acknowledgments
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index
From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews