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West Wing Wiki

I wanted a Democrat - and instead I got you
—Justice Crouch to Bartlet

PRESIDENT'S NOMINEE FOR SUPREME COURT JUSTICE HITS A NASTY SNAG -- When a Supreme Court justice retires, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) has a golden opportunity to impact the court's composition by nominating a favorite judge (guest star Edward James Olmos) -- but when further study reveals the candidate's conflicting ideology and cloudy social affiliations, the President might change his mind and opt for another judge. In addition, a headline-seeking congressman (guest star Holmes Osborne) on the House Government Oversight Committee accuses the White House staff of substance abuse -- a dicey issue for one important member.


As the episode opens, Josh Lyman and C.J. Cregg are in Josh's office on the phone. The call concludes with Josh telling the person on the other end to wait by the phone to expect a call from the President. Upon hanging up, C.J. and Josh celebrate, yelling, "it's DONE!" They walk over to the Oval Office and are joined by Toby Ziegler and Sam Seaborn. They tell the President that the person Josh was talking to is waiting for the call. Leo congratulates the President on getting "a Supreme Court nominee." As the senior staff leave the Oval Office so President Bartlet can make the call, Toby begins to marshal the troops because, "I am going to put Harrison on the Supreme Court!" Donna and Josh walk back to his office discussing the merits of Judge Harrison and as they sit in his office, a piece of the ceiling falls on Josh's desk, immediately after his pronouncement of a "smooth confirmation."

In the next scene, President Bartlet is speaking with Justice Joseph Crouch (played by Mason Adams), whose retirement has given Bartlet the opportunity to appoint a new Justice. Crouch chides Bartlet, asking if Mendoza had been considered instead of settling on Harrison. "I wanted to retire five years ago. Five years. But I waited for a Democrat. Instead I got you" Crouch says to Bartlet. He wants Bartlet to take "the next few days and give Mendoza the consideration he deserves."

Sam and Toby continue to vet Harrison and begin working on remarks for President Bartlet when Harrison is introduced. As they are talking, on the television, Congressman Lillienfield is bemoaning the loss of distinguished members of White House staff. He then makes the accusation that one in three members of the White House staff use drugs on a regular basis. The Senior Staff meet to discuss how to respond to Lillienfield's accusations - Josh is going to "investigate" the accusations of drug use in the White House or as Toby puts it, "What do we know, what do they know? - Get it done."

Sam receives a phone call (waking him after he fell asleep reading Harrison's legal writings). After listening to the person on the other end, he agrees to meet the person and leaves his office in haste. President Bartlet goes by Toby's office to ask him to make sure that Mendoza was given the full scrutiny. Toby says the reason "we didn't pick him is because Harrison said yes." The President tells Toby, "Let's do better than that."

Shortly after, Sam returns and tells Toby there is a problem with Harrison. Harrison appears to have been the author of a memo on privacy issues. After informing the President, Bartlet tells Leo that he wants to meet Mendoza. In the meeting with the President, Harrison acknowledges that he wrote the memo. The President tells Harrison that Sam and Toby are going to come in and discuss this with him. The President, Toby, and Sam quiz Harrison on various issues, primarily the right to privacy. They decide that Harrison cannot be selected and they decide to meet with Mendoza. After a conversation, President Bartlet informs Mendoza that he intends to nominate him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Josh comes to see Leo and asks if there is something other than Leo's alcoholism that might have gotten Lillienfield sniffing around. Leo confides to Josh that he had a problem with pills and that six years ago he was in treatment in Sierra Tucson. Josh tells Leo that he believes Lillienfield has those records. Josh vows to protect Leo and make it alright. Leo informs the President that Lillienfield has records of Leo's treatment - the President assures Leo that we will get through this.


Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn
Moira Kelly as Mandy Hampton
Dulé Hill as Charlie Young
Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg
Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler
John Spencer as Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman
and Martin Sheen as President Bartlet

Special Guest Stars

Mason Adams as Justice Joseph Crouch
Ken Howard as Peyton Cabot Harrison III
Edward James Olmos as Roberto Mendoza

Recurring cast

Timothy Busfield as Danny Concannon
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss

Guest Starring

Holmes Osborne as Peter Lillienfield


Kathryn Joosten as Dolores Landingham
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper
Devika Parikh as Bonnie
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick
Diana Morgan as Jesse
Charles Noland as Steve
Kris Narmont as Katie Witt[1]
Peter James Smith as Ed[2]


5 White House staffers in the room... I'd like to say to the 1.6 of you who are stoned right now that it's time to share
It's about the next twenty years. The '20s and '30s it was the role of government, '50s and '60s it was civil rights, the next two decades are gonna be privacy! I'm talking about the internet. I'm talking about cell phones, I'm talking about health records and who's gay and who's not. And moreover: in a country born on the will to be free, what could be more fundamental than this?



  • In the pre-credits sequence, as Josh walks out of his office to go to the Oval Office, he asks Donna to ring Sam, Toby, Leo and the President and tell them he's coming. However, Donna gets up from her desk and, with the exception of a few seconds while the camera pans back to Josh and C.J., walks alongside Josh all the way to the Oval Office. Although Donna doesn't have the time to make phone calls and set up the meeting, Sam and Toby - and seemingly Leo and Bartlet - have heard the news and are expecting Josh.
  • There are actually 3,300 full-time staff on the White House payroll, not 1,300 as C.J. says.
  • Toby notes that Peyton Harrison is 55 but says he wants to know about any girls whom the Judge stood up for dinner in 1953. When he was just eight years old
  • When Danny gives C.J. the goldfish the position of C.J.'s hands changes repeatedly between shots
  • C.J. addresses Katie Witt as "Chris" during a press briefing


  • The quote "If we list the set of rights, some fools in the future are going to claim that people are entitled only to those rights enumerated and no others" attributed to the 1787 Georgia delegation is fictional.[3]



Opening credits

  1. Aaron Sorkin - Creator
  2. W.G. Snuffy Walden - Music
  3. Michael Hissrich - Co-producer
  4. Kristin Harms - Producer
  5. Jeff Reno - Consulting Producer
  6. Ron Osborn - Consulting Producer
  7. Llewellyn Wells - Episodic Producer
  8. Aaron Sorkin &
  9. Patrick Caddell - Teleplay
  10. Aaron Sorkin &
  11. Dee Dee Myers - Story
  12. Bill D'Elia - Director

Closing credits

  1. Aaron Sorkin - Executive Producer
  2. Thomas Schlamme - Executive Producer
  3. John Wells - Executive Producer
  4. Rick Cleveland - Co-producer
  5. Peter Parnell - Executive Story Editor
  6. Lawrence O'Donnell Jr. - Executive Story Editor
  7. Paul Redford - Story Editor
  8. Patrick Caddell - Consultant
  9. Dee Dee Myers - Consultant
  10. Julie Herlocker - Associate Producer
  11. Thomas Del Ruth - Director of Photography
  12. Kenneth Hardy - Production Designer
  13. Tina Hirsch - Editor
  14. Robert P. Cohen - Unit Production Manager
  15. Rodney Hooks - First Assistant Director
  16. Dylan Massin - Second Assistant Director
  17. Barbara Miller - Executive in Charge of Casting
  18. John Levey - Casting
  19. Kevin Scott - Casting

Notes and references[]

  1. Diana Morgan, Charles Noland, Kris Narmont were credited as playing unnamed reporters. Their characters were identified by name in later episode.
  2. This is the first episode where Peter James Smith's character Ed is identified by name, he was previously credited as an unnamed Congressional Aide.
  3. "The West Wing" The Short List (1999) — Trivia copied from IMDb

I PilotPost Hoc, Ergo Propter HocA Proportional ResponseFive Votes Down
The Crackpots and These WomenMr. Willis of OhioThe State DinnerEnemiesThe Short List
In Excelsis DeoLord John MarburyHe Shall, from Time to Time...Take Out the Trash Day
Take This Sabbath DayCelestial Navigation20 Hours in L.A.The White House Pro-Am
Six Meetings Before LunchLet Bartlet Be BartletMandatory Minimums
Lies, Damn Lies and StatisticsWhat Kind of Day Has It Been?
II In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part I)In the Shadow of Two Gunmen (Part II)The Midterms
In This White HouseAnd It's Surely to Their CreditThe Lame Duck CongressThe Portland Trip
ShibbolethGalileoNoëlThe Leadership BreakfastThe Drop-In
Bartlet's Third State of the UnionThe War at HomeEllie
Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to JailThe Stackhouse Filibuster
17 PeopleBad Moon RisingThe Fall's Gonna Kill You18th and PotomacTwo Cathedrals
III Manchester (Part I)Manchester (Part II)Ways and MeansOn the Day BeforeWar CrimesGone QuietThe Indians in the LobbyThe Women of QumarBartlet for AmericaH.Con - 172100,000 AirplanesThe Two BartletsNight FiveHartsfield's LandingDead Irish Writers
The U.S. Poet LaureateStirredEnemies Foreign and DomesticThe Black Vera Wang
We Killed YamamotoPosse Comitatus
IV 20 Hours in America (Part I)20 Hours in America (Part II)College KidsThe Red Mass
Debate CampGame OnElection NightProcess StoriesSwiss DiplomacyArctic Radar
Holy NightGuns Not ButterThe Long GoodbyeInauguration (Part I)
Inauguration: Over There (Part II)The California 47thRed Haven's on FirePrivateers
Angel MaintenanceEvidence of Things Not SeenLife On MarsCommencementTwenty-Five
V 7A WF 83429The Dogs of WarJefferson LivesHanA Constituency of OneDisaster ReliefSeparation of PowersShutdownAbu el BanatThe Stormy PresentThe Benign PrerogativeSlow News DayThe Warfare of Genghis KhanAn KheFull DisclosureEppur Si Muove
The SupremesAccessTalking PointsNo ExitGazaMemorial Day
VI NSF ThurmontThe Birnam WoodThird-Day StoryLiftoffThe Hubbert PeakThe Dover TestA Change Is Gonna ComeIn The RoomImpact WinterFaith Based Initiative
Opposition Research365 DaysKing CornThe Wake Up CallFreedoniaDrought ConditionsA Good DayLa PalabraNinety Miles AwayIn God We TrustThings Fall Apart2162 Votes
VII The TicketThe Mommy ProblemMessage of the WeekMr. FrostHere Today
The Al Smith DinnerThe DebateUndecidedsThe WeddingRunning Mates
Internal DisplacementDuck and CoverThe ColdTwo Weeks OutWelcome to Wherever You Are
Election Day (Part I)Election Day (Part II)RequiemTransitionThe Last Hurrah
Institutional MemoryTomorrow