The country faced a Constitutional crisis during the Watergate conspiracy. He stood firm to set the record straight.

As the chief judge of the federal court in Washington D.C. in 1972, John J. Sirica took on the trial of burglars arrested while planting electronic bugs in the Democratic headquarters in the Watergate complex. Who had sent them? The defendants weren’t saying and President Nixon disavowed any knowledge of the conspirators. 

Sirica came to the law as the son of an Italian immigrant who lived a hardscrabble life. From these roots, he fought as a boxer while simultaneously going to law school. Practicing law in D.C., he defended criminals and prosecuted them, too. As a judge, he earned the nickname “Maximum John” for the maximum sentences he was apt to deliver.

No Person Above the Law describes how Sirica was determined to see the truth come out during the Watergate scandal, even going toe-to-toe with the White House to order the release of secret tapes. Named “Time Man of the Year,” Judge Sirica held high the central promise of the U.S. Constitution: no person is above the law.  

“This biographical study artfully chronicles Sirica’s ascendancy from a timid, academically challenged young man to a major legal luminary.”


By Cynthia Cooper

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