The West Wing: Season 5, Episode 7

Separation of Powers (12 Nov. 2003)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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Deputy counsel Joe Quincy is quietly enlisted by Toby to approach the ailing Chief Justice about possible retirement. With Josh still incapable of lobbying effectively, Leo brings in help ... See full summary »



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Deputy counsel Joe Quincy is quietly enlisted by Toby to approach the ailing Chief Justice about possible retirement. With Josh still incapable of lobbying effectively, Leo brings in help to hammer out the budget, but success looks a long way off with a hostile Speaker making negotiations tricky. Written by h_berry

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Release Date:

12 November 2003 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


In both "Separation of Powers" and "Shutdown," Martin Sheen, as the President, faces off against Steven Culp, as the Speaker of the House. Both actors have portrayed Attorney General Robert F. "Bobby" Kennedy in the past. Martin Sheen played Kennedy in the TV drama "The Missiles of October (1974)" and Robert Culp played Kennedy on the big screen in "Thirteen Days (2000)." See more »


[last lines; Haffley is asking for a three percent cut in the federal budget]
Speaker of the House Jeff Haffley: There is no next, sir. I mean, not to get too technical, but this government runs out of money at midnight, and my guys have gone home. This is it.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: No.
Speaker of the House Jeff Haffley: There is no altering this offer, Mr. President.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: [standing up] And I said "no".
Speaker of the House Jeff Haffley: Let's be clear, sir. We cannot... We *will* not vote to keep on footing the bill. You will be held responsible for shutting down the federal government.
President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet: Then shut it down.
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References Crossfire (1982) See more »


West Wing Main Title
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony
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User Reviews

6 December 2012 | by (Jersey City) – See all my reviews

Ancient, ailing Chief Justice Ashland (Milo O'Shea - BARBARELLA, THE VERDICT) ends up in intensive care, prompting Toby to send Joe, Ashland's former clerk, to ascertain whether he needs to step down. Joe balks, then covers for his former boss. The third of six episodes for Angela Blake (Michael Hyatt), a political operative who takes over Josh's legislative responsibilities. It can be easy to think that no WEST WING character ever derailed as unceremoniously as Mandie, but i guess every new executive producer gets one character that hits the ground splatting. Again through no fault of the acting or writing, but that's just the way these things go. Speaker Jeff Haffley (Steven Culp

  • THIRTEEN DAYS, ENTERPRISE) takes advantage of the President's weak

approval ratings to push an ultra- conservative budget agenda. Steven would do nine episodes, and never missed a beat. Threatened with a government shutdown, Jed calls his bluff.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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