The Fifth Letter is a political thriller rooted in the historical treatment of blacks in the U.S. Justice Katherine Ross, the first black female on the United States Supreme Court, struggles to do what is right as her mother’s 1940s memoir influences Katherine’s actions and emotions The Fifth Letter is similar in style and concept to Steve Berry’s The Jefferson Key and William Martin’s The Lost Constitution.
Once on the Court, Katherine gains the power to ignite an involuntary retirement process to remove conservative black justice John Galt from the bench. John Galt, an outspoken egoist, survives an assassination attempt but is severely. Pressures for Galt’s removal from the bench mount with his prolonged absence from the Court.
However, John Galt will not resign his seat.
Logrolling with the Republicans, Senator Skip Graham is successful in his efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution to provide for an involuntary removal process for incapacitated justices. Five letters from sitting justices are required to trigger the involuntary retirement process. Galt’s colleagues send four letters for his involuntary retirement the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Everyone expects Katherine to immediately issue the fifth letter because she stands with the black community in her contempt of his legal position opposing affirmative action. But Katherine withholds the fatal fifth letter, putting her own life at risk from an angry black community with agitators and other dark forces who want chaos in America. She faces more than one threat. She wrestles with the sins of her past, intimidation and her moral values to do what is right. She stands alone.
While weaving through Katherine’s personal challenges, The Fifth Letter turns a spotlight on the most important issue currently facing the Court today: Who is a person with inalienable legal rights in America? And it asks this question of its main character: What happens when a liberal black female justice of the Supreme Court is caught between her conscience and the call of political expedience?