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).

Professional Life

After graduating from Yale Law School in 1974 she became a co-director for the Women's Law Report, a law journal specifically for female law students. While she did this she also was a clerk for the District of Connecticut Court of Appeals. She remained in the clerkship until 1975 when she went to work for the law firm Bolton-Stein. While she worked at Bolton-Stein she authored a book The Changing Tide: An In-Depth Look at Woman In Law in the 20th Century. In 1980 she went to work as a law professor at Cornell University. In 1982 she co-authored another book The Fight for Feminism which encompassed different ways feminism had developed over the years. In 1985 she left Cornell University to become the Senior Legal Counsel as well as a spokeswoman for EMILY's List. In 1986 she also served as senior legal advisor to Governor D. Wire Newman during his campaign for the presidency, she also spoke out in support of Newman at several events, which got him a lot of support of the woman's vote. She remained as the senior legal counsel to EMILY's List until late 1990, she also worked once again as the director of the Woman's Law Report. In August of 1990 she was nominated by President Newman to become the Judge of the District of Connecticut Court of Appeals. She remained in this capacity until January of 2004 when she was nominated by President Josiah Bartlet to become the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Lang was the first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Seen as an extremely liberal judge, she was a non-contender for the appointment upon the death of a conservative Justice. 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.[1]

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

Personal Life

Lang had an abortion while in law school, which briefly threatened her nomination until President Bartlet pointed out that it was legal ("post-Roe," as C.J. Cregg put it), and that he would not hold it against 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"

Supreme Court Justices
Lang (CHIEF) | Brannigan | Carmine | Clark | Dreifort | Hoyt | Lafayette | Mendoza | Mulready
Roy Ashland (CHIEF) | Owen Brady
Roy Ashland
Chief Justice
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.