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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Cast

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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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Plot Keywords:

supreme court justice

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

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

The characters state that there is no liberal on the court. In the first season Bartlett put Justice Mendoza on the bench, who was quite liberal. If for some reason Mendoza had left the bench, Bartlett would have appointed another liberal, so no matter what there would have been a democrat on the bench. See more »

Quotes

Chief Justice Evelyn Baker Lang: I am not... No I am not rewriting Article I. I am saying that a gun free school zone...
Justice Christopher Mulready: [Cutting her off] Is not a federal issue. In Lopez
Chief Justice Evelyn Baker Lang: [Cutting him off] Lopez overturned 50 years of precedent.
Justice Christopher Mulready: No, it stated that a plain text reading of the Commerce Clause does not allow Congress to
Chief Justice Evelyn Baker Lang: [Cutting him off again] A plain text reading of the Constitution values a negro at 3/5 of a man.
Justice Christopher Mulready: Hence the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.
Chief Justice Evelyn Baker Lang: Oh, how generous. Thank you
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Connections

References Casablanca (1942) 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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