I hesitate to classify Pipeline to Power as a "book." It's more of an audio recording of an investigative journalist's article, though it's nicely done.
This popped up on my Audible.com recommendations list, and it seemed like a timely and interesting read about graft and corruption in the judicial selection process, though it took a couple of years to produce.
I enjoyed this listen by Vicky Ward as an insert to my 2024 reading list. Inserts are reads or listens which weren't published as part of my reading list.
Pipeline to Power does an excellent job of telling the history of The Federalist Society, which I had heard of back in 2004. From its formation as a simple debate club through its journey to becoming the conservative powerhouse it is today, capable of manipulating judicial clerkships and the list of nominees for judgeships at all levels in the United States.
Like most secret groups, The Federalist Society prefers the shadows to the light and doesn't like being a topic of discussion. But it's become unavoidable with today's concerns with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and, in particular, Justice Clarence Thomas' history of accepting lavish gifts from those with potential business before the SCOTUS.
Some members of The Federalist Society still see the group as a free speech and debate club. But that's hard to agree with for me when the group relishes its network of "conservative judges" which it uses to help funnel clerkships to, eventually leading to SCOTUS clerkships for those with the greatest stature in the organization.
I find it telling that decades-long efforts to ensure conservative-minded judges have helped to transform American legal standards and empower political headwinds, helping to bring us to the atmosphere we endure today.
I don't want to recount all the findings from the author's work. This is a worthy listen and provides some enlightening anecdotes about successful strategies and trends that can emerge from adulterating an otherwise decent mission.