Evelyn Baker Lang
Evelyn Baker Lang
Chief Justice of the United States

2004 - Present

Predecessor Roy Ashland
Successor incumbent

Evelyn Baker Lang is an American jurist and the current Chief Justice of the United States.

She was played by Glenn Close (and Ann Ryerson in the series finale).


Lang was the first female Chief Justice of the United States. Seen as an extremely liberal judge, she was a non-contender for the appointment upon the death of the conservative Justice Owen Brady. However, she so impressed Josh Lyman and Toby Ziegler during her interview (which she correctly divined was merely a smoke-screen to scare the Republican-controlled Senate into confirming a less liberal nominee) that they fought for her to be placed on the short list. When Donna Moss told Josh that when her parents couldn't decide on what sort of cat to get, they got two, he saw an opportunity, and convinced Chief Justice Roy Ashland, a liberal, to resign as well. Lang was then nominated and confirmed as Chief Justice, while Christopher Mulready, a conservative, was nominated and confirmed concurrently, "balancing" the court. However, in a brief scene where the two discussed gay marriage, Lang and Mulready proved they were not perfectly situated along the liberal-conservative axis. They showed not merely familiarity with one another's standpoints, but also a profound mutual respect, which rather shocked Josh and Toby.[1]

On January 20, 2007, Chief Justice Lang administered the oath of office to President Matthew Santos.[2]

Personal LifeEdit

Lang had an abortion while in law school – a revelation that briefly threatened her nomination. The White House staffers argued that they should remove her from the short list of Supreme Court nominees due to the potential for bad publicity. President Bartlet insisted that she appear on the short list regardless, arguing that she had the right to do what she did and that his supporters, especially the women, expected him to uphold that right. Ultimately, given how much of her time they had already used, he said keeping her on the short list was the least they could do for her.


"If you're Malkin, you're from Virginia, so you ask In re: Drury. I take you point by point from the doctor to the father to Casey to undue burden to equal protection back to Roe, at which point you can't remember the question and I drink my water for a minute while you regroup."


  1. Episode 5x17 "The Supremes"
  2. Episode 7x22 "Tomorrow"
Current Justices on the Supreme Court
Brannigan | Carmine | Clark | Dreifort | Hoyt | Lafayette | Lang | Mendoza | Mulready
Preceded by:
Roy Ashland
Chief Justice
Succeeded by:
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