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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supreme court justice

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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

Justice Christopher Mulready: So why a racial preference and not an economic one?
Charlie Young: Because affirmative action is about a legacy of racial oppression.
Justice Christopher Mulready: It's about compromising admission standards.
Charlie Young: That's bull. Excuse me. It's about leveling the playing field after 300 years...
Justice Christopher Mulready: See, this is where the liberal argument goes off the tracks. You get stuck in the past. Now, you want to come back at me with "Grading is based on past performance, but admissions should be based on potential, on how a candidate may thrive with this sort...
[...]
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

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(uncredited)
Written by Maurice Williams
Performed by Jesse Bradford
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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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