The West Wing: Season 5, Episode 17

The Supremes (24 Mar. 2004)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.8
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A Supreme Court Justice dies, forcing the administration's hand on picking a desirable replacement who can be confirmed by a hostile Congress.

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Title: The Supremes (24 Mar 2004)

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Senator Roland Pierce (as Mitchell Ryan)
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Storyline

Josh's efforts to break the deadlock over judicial nominees is brought to a head by the death of a Supreme Court Justice. With the Republicans controlling Congress, the administration's chances of getting a replacement they want appear to be slim. Despite this, Josh and Toby begin back-channel negotiations over a radical scheme which could be exactly what the overly-moderate judicial system needs. Written by Murray Chapman

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supreme court justice

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Drama

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24 March 2004 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The case Mulready and Lang are speaking of is U.S. v Lopez, a landmark Supreme Court case in which the Supreme Court ended 50 years of precedents allowing Congress to federally mandate certain legal standards (including civil rights and federal gun control laws) based on a very liberal interpretation of the Commerce Clause (Article 1, Section 8. Clause 3) of the U.S. Constitution. See more »

Goofs

Final scene in the W.H. press room when President Bartlett is at the podium introducing his two new Supreme Court nominations, he incorrectly introduces Glenn Close's character, Judge Evelyn Baker Lang, as the next Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. While she will be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the correct title should be "Chief Justice of the United States." See more »

Quotes

Josh Lyman: Obviously we're impressed with your record.
Toby Ziegler: Your work on the 14th Amendment in particular is the stuff that dreams were made of.
Josh Lyman: But before anything else, we want to gauge your interest level, this would certainly be a lifestyle...
Chief Justice Evelyn Baker Lang: We can just chat.
Josh Lyman: I'm sorry?
Chief Justice Evelyn Baker Lang: I hear you really went to bat for Erick Hayden.
Josh Lyman: I wish we could have gotten him confirmed
Toby Ziegler: Judge Lang, if the president...
Chief Justice Evelyn Baker Lang: Is he still teaching?
Josh Lyman: Erick? Yeah. Um, again, if we...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.196 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Mandolin Concerto in C Major
(uncredited)
Written by Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by Musici Di San Marco
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant episode
24 March 2007 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

This episode leaves me with a good feeling. I have to admit that I had misty eyes all through the last half hour. And its difficult to claim that "West Wing" usually does that to the viewers.

The reason for my joy for this episode is two-folded. First of all there is Glenn Close, perfectly casted as a liberal judge. Second there is the message, that the gloomy impression of a Left and Right in USA, unable to communicate, is not true.

The beauty lies in the compromise that does not look like the usual compromise. Instead of victory for the mediocre, we see a victory of the genius.

This episode is also the last high peak before the series finally loses its momentum.


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