When a Supreme Court Justice Crouch (Mason Adams) retires, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) has a golden opportunity to impact the court’s composition by nominating Judge Peyton Cabot Harrison III; but when further study reveals the candidate’s conflicting ideology, the President might opt for Judge Roberto Mendoza (Edward James Olmos). In addition, a headline seeking congressman, Peter Lillienfield (Holmes Osborne) on the House Government Oversight Committee accuses the White House staff of substance abuse — a dicey issue for one important member, Leo McGarry (John Spencer).
THE WEST WING 'THE SHORT LIST' STORY BY: AARON SORKIN & DEE DEE MYERS TELEPLAY BY: AARON SORKIN & PATRICK CADDELL DIRECTED BY: BILL D'ELIA TEASER FADE IN: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY MONDAY MORNING There is a continuous banging from somewhere. Josh and C.J. are both on the phone in his office. Josh is doing the talking. C.J. is listening through another phone line. JOSH [into phone] Yes... Yes... Yes... So are you prepared at this point to... Josh and C.J. suddenly jump as if they won something. JOSH [into phone] Thank you. Thank you, sir. Uh, if you'll sit by the phone for a few minutes, you can expect a call from the president. Thank you again. [hangs up the phone slowly] C.J. YES! JOSH It's done. C.J. We did it! JOSH It is done! C.J. goes running screaming into JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA. Josh follows quickly. Donna is outside. Everyone looks at them. C.J. It's done! DONNA Who did it? C.J. We did it! JOSH I did it! C.J. was on the phone with her fingers crossed. C.J. All you did was just one phone call. JOSH It was a series of phone calls, which I masterminded, while I'm not one to be selfish about credit, I think it is important to know that it is done, and I DID IT! Donna, call Toby. Call Sam. Call Leo. Call the president. Tell them I'm on my way over. C.J. Congratulations! JOSH Nothing to the press. C.J. Yes. [starts to walk away] JOSH Claudia Jean? C.J. Yeah? JOSH We did it! C.J. Yeah! They hug tight. C.J. walks off as Josh walks the other way. Donna quickly catches up into the NORTHWEST LOBBY. DONNA Wait! JOSH What? DONNA Don't you want to know about the banging in your office? JOSH Banging in my office? DONNA They've been at it all morning. JOSH Banging? DONNA Yeah. JOSH I don't know what you're talking about. They cut into the HALLWAY. DONNA Josh, there's a loud banging or thumping coming from the floor above your office. JOSH I didn't notice. DONNA How could you not notice? JOSH Because I didn't, Donna. I've been on the phone for the last hour trying to seal the deal to fill a seat on the Supreme Court. DONNA It was a pretty loud banging, Josh. JOSH You got to understand I'm talking about the United States Supreme Court right? DONNA Yes. JOSH Okay. Josh and Donna pass the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE. Sam comes out and gives Josh a high five. Toby comes out from an office and also gives Josh a high five. SAM Who da man? TOBY You da man! SAM and JOSH We da man! DONNA This is just gross. JOSH Wait there for me. Josh, Sam and Toby walk inside the OUTER OVAL OFFICE. Mrs. Landingham is behind her desk. Toby laughs. TOBY Good morning, Mrs. Landingham. MRS. LANDINGHAM Good morning. JOSH Good morning! SAM Good morning, indeed. MRS. LANDINGHAM Josh? JOSH Yes, Mrs. Landingham? MRS. LANDINGHAM Is it done? JOSH Well, that depends on your answer to this question, Mrs. Landingham: Who da man? MRS. LANDINGHAM Excuse me, Josh? Toby is still laughing. JOSH Hmmm... Who da man? MRS. LANDINGHAM You da man. JOSH and SAM [bumps chests] We da man! TOBY You da men. MRS. LANDINGHAM He's waiting for you. JOSH Thank you. Toby sighs. They walk in THE OVAL OFFICE. Bartlet and Leo are inside. BARTLET I heard we may have... JOSH Yes sir. BARTLET I can call him? JOSH He's waiting for you sir. BARTLET It's done? JOSH Done. LEO You got yourself a Supreme Court nominee, Mr. President. BARTLET This is huge. Which one of you is the man? TOBY On this one, we'd like to think of ourselves collectively as the men, sir. BARTLET Mrs. Landingham, let's make the phone call! JOSH Congratulations. BARTLET Thank you. You too. [They shake hands.] SAM Well done, sir. BARTLET Thank you. Leo, Toby, Sam and Josh go into LEO'S OFFICE. Mandy is already inside. MANDY You guys rock. SAM Oh, we really do. LEO Let's bring in the chairman and the ranking member from judiciary, the leadership from both sides, and C.J. you should...where is C.J.? C.J. [comes in behind Leo] Right here. LEO [turns around] Oh. C.J. Sorry. LEO You should wear a bell around your neck, you know that? C.J. Thank you. LEO So what do we want to we do? TOBY C.J. will let the press know that the president will introduce his nominee in an east room press ceremony Thursday, 5 p.m. JOSH Can we do it on Friday, and give ourselves more time? TOBY Thursday. JOSH Why? SAM Because that's when people watch T.V. MANDY We can do this in four days? TOBY Yep. LEO Are you sure? TOBY Yep. LEO Toby, you're running the show. TOBY I know. LEO Put the ball in the hole. TOBY It's done. LEO No, it's not. So get it done. TOBY Yes sir. Toby comes out of Leo's office into the HALLWAY. Josh, Sam, Mandy and C.J. follow. TOBY Josh, get me everything. JOSH We vetted him two months. TOBY I'm gonna vet him four more days. I want to know every parking ticket. I want to know every girlfriend he stood up for dinner in 1953. Mandy, you're gonna roll this guy out on a show that makes the queen's coronation look like dinner theater. Sam, you're gonna write the president's introduction. You're also gonna write the Harrison's remarks. SAM Harrison's not gonna like that. TOBY Show him the robe he gets. He'll like it fine. They all walk inside the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE. TOBY C.J., no leaks. If the name of this nominee is leaked out before I want it to be leaked out, I'm gonna blame you, and you're gonna find that unpleasant. C.J. I got to tell you something, Toby. You're hot when you're like this. TOBY [yells] I am gonna put Harrison on the Court! I swear to God I am! JOSH We meet again three hours. MANDY C.J., come talk to me. Toby goes inside his office. Mandy and C.J. walk off. SAM Did you see his face? JOSH We're home. SAM I'll see you later. Sam goes inside his office. Donna quickly appears in front of Josh. DONNA It's a maintenance crew. JOSH The banging? DONNA They're working upstairs. They walk out into the HALLWAY. JOSH Peyton Cabot Harrison III. DONNA Yes. JOSH Peyton Cabot Harrison III. He sounds like he should be a Supreme Court justice. DONNA It's a good name. JOSH Phillips Exeter, Princeton, Rhodes scholar, Harvard Law Review, for which he was, oh yeah, the editor. Did I mention that he was dean of Harvard Law School? Did I mention that his father was attorney general to Eisenhower? DONNA Peyton Cabot Harrison III. JOSH That's right. DONNA Jewish fellow? JOSH You're not gonna ruin this moment for me, Donna. DONNA I'm sharing this moment with you. JOSH This is a big day for us. DONNA You're the men. The two go inside JOSH'S OFFICE. Josh sits in his chair. Donna sits across him. The banging still continues. JOSH You know what we're finally gonna have? DONNA A waspy old man in the Supreme Court? JOSH A smooth confirmation process. DONNA You think? JOSH It's gonna sail. DONNA I hope so. JOSH It's gonna sail, Donna. DONNA There's many a slip twixt the tongue and the wrist, Josh. JOSH Yes. Well, your fortune cookie wisdom notwithstanding, it's gonna sail. DONNA Please don't get your hopes up. JOSH Why shouldn't I get my hopes up? DONNA Because when it doesn't work out, you end up drunk in my apartment in the middle of the night and yell at my roommate's cats. JOSH Smooth sailing, Donna. DONNA Cautious optimism, Josh. JOSH Nothing bad is gonna happen this week. DONNA Exercise cautious optimism. JOSH Look, there is no reason... A big chunk of the ceiling comes falling down in front of Josh. It crashes on his desk. JOSH Well... okay. He dusts his sleeve and looks up the ceiling. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. THE SUPREME COURT - JUSTICE CROUCH'S OFFICE - DAY The retiring Supreme Court Justice JOSEPH CROUCH is with President Bartlet. BARTLET You're too young to retire, Joseph. CROUCH [laughs] You're an excellent liar, Mr. President. BARTLET [chuckling] Yes sir. CROUCH You're gonna go with Harrison? BARTLET He's on the short list. CROUCH Yeah? BARTLET Yeah. CROUCH With how many other names? BARTLET We'll make our announcement on Thursday. CROUCH You've decided on Harrison. BARTLET I haven't made a decision yet, Joseph. CROUCH You've made the call. [beat] Did you even consider Mendoza? BARTLET Mendoza was on the short list. CROUCH Mendoza was on the short list so you can show you had an Hispanic on the short list. BARTLET That's not true, Joseph. CROUCH You ran great guns in the campaign. It was an insurgency, boy, a sight to see. And then you drove to the middle of the road the moment after you took the oath. Just the middle of the road. Nothing but a long line painted yellow. BARTLET Excuse me, sir... CROUCH I wanted to retire five years ago. But I waited for a Democrat. I wanted a Democrat. Hmm! And instead I got you. CUT TO: EXT. THE SUPREME COURT - DAY The press is waiting below the stairs of the Supreme Court. Danny is among them. C.J. approaches. DANNY Hey. C.J. Hey. DANNY How you doing? C.J. I'm doing fine, Danny. DANNY Is it gonna be Harrison? C.J. Why, why, oh why do you ask me questions that you absolutely, positively know I'm not gonna answer? DANNY It's a good conversation starter. C.J. I can't go out on a date with you, Danny. DANNY Who asked you? C.J. Okay. DANNY You think Harrison is gonna be a good Justice? C.J. Danny? DANNY You see what I did there? C.J. Yeah. DANNY I tried to trick you into confirming it was Harrison. C.J. Yes. DANNY It didn't work. C.J. No. DANNY And you won't go out on a date with me, right? C.J. Right. DANNY Okay. C.J. walks behind the podium and grabs a bunch of papers. She takes a look at Danny and walks away. CUT TO: INT. JUSTICE CROUCH'S OFFICE - DAY Justice Crouch and President Bartlet are still talking. BARTLET I suppose we should get out there. CROUCH Not yet, sir. BARTLET I'm sorry Joseph, but I am... CROUCH I've served on this bench for 38 years. I took my seat the year you began college. I believe I've earned the right to say a word. BARTLET You've said quite a few words. CROUCH Not enough. BARTLET Let's get out there. CROUCH Take the next few days with your staff, and give Mendoza the consideration he deserves. BARTLET Joseph, when the next seat opens up, I promise you... CROUCH When the next seat opens up, you'll be writing your memoirs. BARTLET In three years, I would hope to be running for reel... CROUCH You're gonna get beat in three years. BARTLET That's a little pessimistic, Joseph. CROUCH American voters like guts. And Republicans have got them. In the three years, one of them is gonna beat you. BARTLET You know I imagine the view from your largely unscrutinized place in history must be very different from mine. But I remind you sir, that I have the following things to negotiate: an opposition Congress, special interests with power beyond belief, and a bitchy media. CROUCH So did Harry Truman. BARTLET Well, I am not Harry Truman. CROUCH Mr. Bartlet, you needn't point out that fact. BARTLET [beat] It's 'Dr. Bartlet,' your honor. Now, let's go start your retirement. CUT TO: EXT. THE SUPREME COURT - DAY C.J. is pacing back and forth. Danny is with her. DANNY Want my gloves? C.J. No, thanks. DANNY I asked because you look pretty cold. C.J. I'm fine. DANNY What do you suppose they're talking about in there? C.J. The president and Justice Crouch are old friends. DANNY The president and Justice Crouch can't stand each other. C.J. The man's retiring today. It's a courtesy call. What do you want from me? DANNY Dinner and a movie. C.J. No. DANNY You think Crouch is pissed because the president has already settled on Harrison? C.J. Danny? DANNY I did it again! C.J. Yeah. DANNY But you know what you did? C.J. What? DANNY You outfoxed me. C.J. You're killing me. You know that, Danny. A woman, coming down from the stairs, passes by. WOMAN Here we go. We see Bartlet, Crouch and several Secret Service Agents coming down the front stairs of the Supreme Court. C.J. approaches them. Danny goes back to the press area. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY A maintenance guy is working on the ceiling. Josh and Donna stand watch. JOSH That was inches from my head. DONNA Josh. JOSH Inches. DONNA It was not inches. JOSH It was inches. A little bit this way, a little bit that way, bam! Massive head wound. DONNA You're fine. JOSH Yeah, but there for the grace of God, you know what I'm saying? DONNA Yes. JOSH I really think if big chunks of ceiling are gonna fall on anyone... I don't know... A brief silence as Josh inhales. DONNA What? JOSH It should be you. DONNA Ugh. I knew you were gonna say that. JOSH From now on, before I come in in the morning, I want you to test my office. MANDY [comes up] Josh? DONNA Staff in ten minutes. [leaves] JOSH You see this? MANDY Yeah. JOSH Inches from my head. MANDY Why is Peter Lillienfield holding a press conference? JOSH Who cares? MANDY I do. Why is Lillienfield holding a press conference? JOSH I don't know. MANDY Is he unhappy about something? JOSH He's always unhappy about something. [calls] Donna! Where's my east Asia memo?! DONNA [OS] [yells] Right here! MANDY It starts in two minutes. JOSH What starts in two minutes? MANDY Lillienfield's press conference. JOSH [shouts] It's okay, Donna. I'll just come and get it myself! DONNA [OS] Keep your pants on Josh! I'm on my way! MANDY Josh? JOSH Mandy. MANDY I'm just saying that we don't need any surprises today. JOSH We're not gonna have any surprises today. MANDY I'm putting on a show. I don't want to get upstaged. JOSH You're not gonna get upstaged. Mandy leaves. Donna comes in hurriedly with a piece of paper. She gives it to Josh. DONNA Here. JOSH Thank you. DONNA You're welcome. JOSH You should be nice to me. I could be dead you know. DONNA I don't have that kind of luck. [leaves] CUT TO: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY Toby is behind his desk writing. Sam comes in. SAM Yeah? TOBY I would like you to play out that as a lifelong Democrat, he clerked for a Republican. I would like you to play DOWN that he'd never written a judicial opinion on abortion or revealed his thinking on Roe. SAM I'm already there. TOBY Well, thank you. Sam looks at the television. It shows PETER LILLIENFIELD'S press conference. SAM What's this? TOBY Lillienfield's talking about something that's bothering him today. SAM WHAT could possibly be less interesting? I'll be in my office. TOBY Okay. Sam leaves and closes the door. Toby goes back to writing. We hear the television. LILLIENFIELD [on T.V.] ...Gone are the days of the best and the brightest. Stained, I believe, are the legacies of the great White House staffers. Names like Schlesinger, Sorenson, Rumsfeld, and Persons have been replaced by a roster of Ivy League liberals, Hollywood darlings. One in three of who, one in three... used drugs on a regular basis. A surprised Toby slowly looks at the television. LILLIENFIELD [cont.] And in case there should be any confusion about my meaning, I'm not talking about aspirin or decongestants... Toby picks up the phone and dials. LILLIENFIELD [cont.] ...Members of my staff will be passing out the most recent figures... TOBY [into phone] Get her. CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY Carol knocks and comes in. C.J. is standing in front of the television, watching the press conference. CAROL C.J.? C.J. Tell him I'm watching. LILLIENFIELD [on T.V.] ...And to ask who exactly is it that's helping lead our country, who has the ear of the president, advising the president... [continues] FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Leo and C.J. are walking. LEO One in three? C.J. Yes. LEO He said one in three White House staffers were on drugs? C.J. Yes. LEO Where does he get these stats? C.J. Leo... LEO I mean where does he pull them from? C.J. Out of the clear blue sky, but that doesn't matter. They walk inside LEO'S OFFICE. Margaret is on her way out. LEO Is somebody bringing me a tape of this? MARGARET They're getting it. [leaves] Mandy is inside the office. MANDY This isn't happening to me. LEO Nothing's happening. Stay cool. SAM [pops his head and walks in] Is it possible for Peter Lillienfield to be a bigger jackass? You think if he tried hard, there's room for him to be a slightly bigger horse's ass than he's being right now? C.J. At some point, you hit your head in the ceiling, don't you? SAM I think there's unexplored potential. JOSH [comes in] 'Sup? MANDY Josh. JOSH Five White House staffers in the room. I would like to say to the 1.6 of you who are stoned right now, that it's time to share. Everyone laughs except Mandy. MANDY This isn't funny, Josh. JOSH Mandy, if you can't laugh at this, then you're just not having enough fun in show business. MANDY Josh? JOSH He's a featherweight, Mandy. He's a hairdo. SAM I think if he put his shoulder into it, he could be a slightly bigger gasbag. JOSH Yeah. SAM You know, if he really reach for the stars. TOBY [quickly walks in] Good morning. C.J. Hey. TOBY There's no way you saw this coming? LEO Toby... TOBY Leo, I know I'm in your office. Forgive me. [yells] But nobody saw this coming?! C.J. Yeah. I can't believe my psychic didn't tell me, Toby. Rest assured, I'm gonna get my twenty bucks back. LEO Short-term, long-term? JOSH Short-term nothing. C.J. I can't go with nothing. JOSH Why not? C.J. Pretend we didn't see it? JOSH He's a liar. He's a fool. Categorically deny it and move on. MANDY She can't. C.J. I can't. JOSH Why not? C.J. Because more than 1300 people work for the White House, Josh. I go to the Press Room and categorically deny that anyone uses drugs, and it turns out that three guys in the photo lab blew a joint over the weekend, which is not like out of the realm of possibility. And my next question is... MANDY But you categorically denied it, now you admit there are three. C.J. Yes. Well, I categorically deny that there are any more than three. Toby paces. MANDY But now it seems that the assistant to the deputy director of White House beverages-- JOSH All right. MANDY --is confessing to a life of a closet junkie. C.J. Yes, and I understand she's selling her story to Random House for a middle six-figure advance. TOBY [now has his head against the wall] All right. Are we done with Masterpiece Theater? LEO C.J., we're looking into it, okay? C.J. Yeah. LEO That's what we're saying right now. JOSH I don't care if we say that, but... we're not actually looking into it, are we? LEO Yes. JOSH This is a joke, right? MARGARET [walks in] Leo? LEO Yeah? Toby. [points at the staff] TOBY Yeah. Leo walks away with Margaret. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Toby and the rest of the staff follow him as they walk out of Leo'S office. TOBY C.J., go do your briefing. The president paid a courtesy call on Crouch this morning. We got some exciting names. On the short list is Ed Harrison. We'll introduce the nominee Thursday, 5 o'clock. This business with Lillienfield... C.J. I've heard about it, and I'd like the chance to see it first before I comment. They all walk inside the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE. TOBY Is the president aware? C.J. We'd like to keep this things off the president's desk until we measure what, if any, credibility... TOBY Good girl. C.J. walks off. Toby, Josh, Mandy and Sam stop in front of Toby's office. MANDY Toby, if the alternative is getting Harrison bumped off the top story... TOBY We're not gonna postpone. MANDY Let's end this fast. JOSH How? MANDY You know how. JOSH No, I don't. SAM Mandy. MANDY What I'm saying... TOBY Go back to work, Mandy. JOSH Now, hang on a second. I'd like to hear what- TOBY Hey! Go back to work. MANDY Lillienfield is walking on a stage, and he's not gonna get off until he gets off is what I'm saying. JOSH We are not taking drug tests. MANDY Why not? JOSH Because we're not! MANDY Toby, let's end this. JOSH Toby, if you... TOBY Shut up. [to Mandy] Go. [Mandy leaves.] Sam, go back to doing what you're doing. SAM They just delivered five cartons of Harrison's old papers. TOBY Then go start reading. Sam goes inside his office. JOSH Toby... TOBY What do we know? What do they know? JOSH Now, wait, hang on a second. TOBY Josh... JOSH You're not making me--I'm not gonna be the internal affairs cop around here. TOBY Yes, you are. JOSH You want to know who's doing what around here, you ask them yourself! TOBY This isn't the time, Josh. We taking water over the side... JOSH Yes, and I'm not indifferent to that, but there's a principle here- TOBY No, there's not. Not this week. We've been doing this for a year, and all we've gotten is a year older. Our job approval's 48%, and I think that number's soft, and I'm tired of being the field captain for the gang that couldn't shoot straight! We're getting this done! [beat] What do we know? What do they know? Start with me, if you want. Toby goes into his office. CUT TO: INT. SAM'S OFFICE - MORNING TUESDAY MORNINGH The sun is not out yet. Sam is sleeping in his chair. Around him are a bunch of cartons containing old papers. The phone rings. He wakes up and picks up the phone. SAM Hello? This is Sam Seaborn. [listens] What's your name? Uh, I'm not a cop. What's your name? [listens] Where are you right now? [listens] All right. I'm the only one in my office, but as soon as the secretary get--you know what? Hang on. I'm on my way. [hangs up the phone, wears his jacket, heads out, and trips over one of the cartons] Ow! CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE PORTICO - DAY Bartlet and Leo are headed for the Oval Office. BARTLET A quick confirmation's gonna be good for us. LEO Ritter says we'll get unanimous approval out of committee and 90 votes in the Senate. BARTLET That's a blowout, Leo. LEO Mm-hmm. BARTLET Just what the doctor ordered. [An agent opens the door.] Thank you. Bartlet and Leo walk inside the OUTER OVAL OFFICE. BARTLET Good morning, Mrs. Landingham. MRS. LANDINGHAM Good morning, Mr. President. LEO Good morning. MRS. LANDINGHAM Good morning. BARTLET When is Harrison getting in? LEO Late tonight. BARTLET Good. They finally get to THE OVAL OFFICE. Charlie is inside. BARTLET Good morning, Charlie. CHARLIE Good morning, Mr. President. LEO Good morning. BARTLET Peyton Cabot Harrison. Find out what kind of cigars he likes, what kind of perfume his wife likes, and have them sent over to their hotel, okay? CHARLIE Back channels, sir? BARTLET Yeah. Charlie takes Bartlet's jacket and leaves. LEO They're gonna stake the hotels. Gifts coming from the White House... BARTLET We're using back channels. What is going on with Lillienfield? LEO You're staying out of it. BARTLET Fine. LEO Anything else? BARTLET We're gonna get this done, right? LEO Yes sir. BARTLET All right. MRS. LANDINGHAM [walks in] Mr. President? BARTLET I'm on my way. LEO Thank you, Mr. President. BARTLET Thank you. Leo is on his way to his office. BARTLET Leo? LEO Yes, sir? BARTLET We looked at everybody, right? LEO Sir? BARTLET The short list. We looked at Mendoza? LEO We looked at him. BARTLET Leo... LEO We fixed on Harrison. BARTLET Yeah, you're right. I'll see you later. LEO Yes sir. Leo goes into his office. Bartlet heads out into the OUTER OVAL OFFICE. Two military types are waiting at the door. BARTLET Good morning, gentlemen. Sorry to keep you waiting. Let's go. Bartlet and the men walk out into the HALLWAY. Two Secret Service Agents are waiting. They follow the president. BARTLET Good morning. Good morning. Hang on a second. They all stop walking as Bartlet goes inside the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE. The staffers quickly stand up at the sight of the president. STAFFER 1 Good morning. BARTLET Good morning. Keep your seats. STAFFER 2 Good morning, Mr. President. BARTLET Good morning. Bartlet goes into TOBY'S OFFICE. Toby is inside. BARTLET Good morning, Toby. TOBY Good morning, sir. BARTLET Do this for me. Put together some information on Roberto Mendoza. TOBY Sir... it's natural to have second thoughts, but... BARTLET No. I just want to be able to know something. There's gonna be a lot of questions. I don't want it to be 'we had a Hispanic on the short list.' TOBY What is it you're looking for? BARTLET The reason we didn't go with him. TOBY The reason we didn't go with him is because Harrison said yes. BARTLET Let's do better than that. TOBY Yes sir. BARTLET Uh, what's going on with this drug thing? TOBY You don't want a piece of that. BARTLET All right. I'll trust ya. Thank you. Bartlet walks back out to the COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE. The staffers stand up again. SAM [passes by] Good morning, sir. BARTLET Good morning, Sam. We follow Sam as he goes inside TOBY'S OFFICE. SAM Toby. TOBY He wants me to look at Mendoza. What...? SAM [slams an envelope on Toby's desk] I got a phone call before from a guy with some information. I just picked it up. I read it on the way back. It's not good. TOBY Is it the drugs? SAM No. TOBY What is it? SAM It's Harrison. TOBY Close the door. Sam looks around the Communications Office and closes the door. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY Sam is still there. Toby is going over through a bunch of papers. SAM It's called an unsigned note. Every member of Law Review is required to prepare one. It's like an article. TOBY I know what an unsigned note is. SAM It's 40 or so pages, well researched, footnoted, and revised with faculty supervision, and it's published. TOBY Without the names. SAM Without the names. It's scholarly work. TOBY How do we know Harrison...? SAM Toby... TOBY What, I'm supposed to just trust 'the guy on the phone?' SAM I spent the last three months reading everything Harrison's written, from decisions, to memos, to amacus briefs, Toby. He's the author of the unsigned note. TOBY [pause, calls] Bonnie! BONNIE [opens the door] Yeah? TOBY I'm gonna need the next five minutes the president's got. BONNIE Yeah. Bonnie leaves and closes the door. Toby looks at Sam. CUT TO: INT. NORTHWEST LOBBY - DAY Josh and Donna are walking. DONNA How does Lillienfield get his information? JOSH Ah, he's got a half government oversight committee. These are the people who literally decide if we get heat and electricity in the White House. They go near the JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - CONTINUOUS Josh is getting himself coffee. Then they walk again. DONNA So they have access to background information? JOSH Yeah. DONNA Josh? JOSH Yeah? DONNA You shouldn't feel uncomfortable about interviewing me. JOSH I met you. I talked to you. I hired you. You know anybody around here who uses drugs? DONNA Yeah. JOSH You want to tell me who they are? DONNA No. JOSH Good for you. Consider yourself interviewed. DONNA You're a good boy, Josh. JOSH Donna, I've seen your records. DONNA I know. JOSH You need to learn that 'no parking' means no parking. DONNA The thing is sometimes I can't find a space. JOSH Go to work. Donna goes to her desk. Josh goes inside his OFFICE. Mandy is sitting at the table beside the door. MANDY We have everyone take a drug test and be done with it. JOSH What makes you think that everyone here can pass a drug test? MANDY The ones who can't already know it and will quietly resign. JOSH [laughs] Oh, okay. Problem solved. MANDY What is wrong in this day and age with demonstrating that the White House is drug free? What is wrong with giving people that comfort? JOSH I would think that in this day and age, people would be more comfortable knowing that they will not now, nor will they ever be forced to turn over evidence against themselves. And please, do not try and paint your position as anything other than preservation of a spotlight. MANDY This thing gets bungled, and we're not gonna have to struggle much to find the spotlight. JOSH [pause] So what do you think's really going on here? MANDY I don't know. JOSH I don't know either. MANDY That's what makes me nervous. JOSH What do we do? MANDY It's time to talk to whoever it is you talk to. JOSH Yeah. CUT TO: INT. BRIEFING ROOM - DAY C.J. is doing the briefing. A reporter asks a question. REPORTER Is there any reason to believe that White House staffers regularly use illegal drugs? C.J. For those who didn't understand me the first nine times, we are looking into this. REPORTER C.J.? STEVE C.J., would you forgive a blunt question? C.J. These questions haven't been blunt yet? STEVE Do you use drugs? C.J. No, and you're forgiven. CHRIS It's been 24 hours since Congressman Lillienfield made his accusations, C.J. When is the White House...? C.J. We have 1300 people on the payroll, Chris. That's a lot of information to gather, and it's not like we were loaded with free time before. And let me just add that as no one and nothing here has been subpoenaed, and Mr. Lillienfield has offered nothing to support his very bizarre claim, we're not feeling the real need to get this done in a hurry. CHRIS C.J., one more question... C.J. Thank you. That's all. [walks away, to a staffer] Set fire to the room. Do it now. The staffer laughs as C.J. walks out into the HALLWAY. C.J. does not see Danny following her. DANNY How you doing? C.J. What do you want? DANNY It was a bit of a blunder back there. C.J. It was fine. DANNY You challenged Lillienfield to present evidence. He knows his cue when he hears it. C.J. [looks around] I left my notebook somewhere. DANNY Also, did you really want to be the first person to use the word 'subpoena'? C.J. In the context? DANNY What the context was. It's the only word anybody's gonna read tomorrow. C.J. I really don't need your tips, Danny. DANNY As a matter of fact, you do, C.J. but that's not why I'm here. C.J. Why are you here? DANNY I'm here because there's a basketball team called the New York Knickerbockers who are playing in town tonight. C.J. and Danny go back to THE BRIEFING ROOM. The reporters have left, and it's now empty and dark. C.J. I don't have time for a little basketball game! DANNY Neither do I. Which is why we I thought could watch it in your office while I explain it to you in a patronizing manner, 'cause I know it's something women usually like. C.J. Thank you, anyway. DANNY You understand I'll talk slow and explain it the way any girl would appreciate. C.J. walks out. Josh has come in the room through the back door. Danny turns around. JOSH Danny. You got a minute? DANNY Walk me to my car. CUT TO: EXT. WASHINGTON D.C. - NIGHT Josh and Danny are walking along a street. DANNY Josh, the information I get I have to print. JOSH Do you have any information? DANNY No. JOSH Would you tell me if you did? DANNY What kind of information? JOSH You know what kind of information. DANNY Hey. JOSH You know no one knows where I got it. DANNY You know in the highroad, I'm not supposed to hand out any information I get. JOSH You're right. DANNY You know I'm right. It's not my job to help you out. As a matter of fact, I get fired from my job for helping you out. JOSH I know that. DANNY Lillienfield's a jackass, but he's not stupid. He's talking. He's got something. JOSH What? DANNY Whatever it is it's small potatoes. It's enough to get the rock rolling down the mountain. JOSH What's he trying to hit? DANNY I don't know. JOSH Is it the nomination? DANNY That's what I thought too, but Harrison's gonna sail by no matter what. JOSH Nobody said it's Harrison. DANNY Yeah. Yeah. My point is this: He's not gonna waste it on a done deal. He's after something better. JOSH Okay. Thanks. [starts to walk the other way] DANNY Josh, it's one of those times, man. Don't screw this up. JOSH C.J. likes goldfish. DANNY What? JOSH She likes goldfish. Can't get enough of them. DANNY Thanks! Josh walks away. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - NIGHT Bartlet is holding some papers. Sam and Toby are with him. BARTLET Here's an interesting statement. [reads] 'I join Judge Black, insomuch as while enjoying my privacy, I am compelled to admit that government has a right to invade it unless specifically prohibited by some specific Constitutional provision.' Unquote. SAM Mr. President, this paper, is, in no uncertain terms, an argument of privacy is not a right guaranteed by the Constitution. BARTLET Why isn't this ever been brought up? TOBY It never came up, sir. BARTLET We spent two months vetting our homerun nominee, he doesn't believe in a privacy guarantee, and it never came up? TOBY It was simply never an issue in any order to be handed down, and if I may sir, we don't know for sure that he's the author of the document... SAM We do know. TOBY ...If he is, I don't think we can necessarily hold a 55 year old man responsible... SAM Toby? TOBY ...for something he wrote when he's 26. SAM We're not gonna be able to hold him responsible if we put him on the bench. And I promise you, this issue's gonna come up! BARTLET [pause, sighs] When does Harrison get in? SAM Later tonight. BARTLET I want him first thing in the morning. SAM Yes sir. BARTLET When was the last time either of you slept, I don't care. Get ready for this. TOBY Yes sir. SAM Thank you, Mr. President. TOBY Thank you sir. Toby and Sam leave. CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - NIGHT Leo is meeting with a few people. LEO Seventeen billion isn't gonna fly. They're gonna say it's too much at thirteen five. The door to the Oval Office opens. Bartlet comes in. Everyone stands. BARTLET Excuse me. LEO Give us the room. [The people leave at an instant.] BARTLET I want to meet Mendoza. LEO Yes sir. Bartlet walks back to the Oval Office. CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - DAY THURSDAY MORNING Toby and Sam are waiting to be called inside the Oval Office. Mandy is with them, walking back and forth. TOBY Does Mendoza know why he's coming here? MANDY He thinks he's interviewing for a place in the President's Commission for Hispanic Opportunity. TOBY Is there such a thing as the president's...? MANDY It's the best I could do in short notice, Toby. TOBY Fine. MANDY I had to make a letterhead. TOBY That must have taxed your considerable creativity. MANDY Toby? TOBY Fine. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY Bartlet is inside with Judge PEYTON CABOT HARRISON III. Charlie is waiting at the door. BARTLET Judge Harrison, first thing's first, are you the author of this unsigned note? Bartlet gives several papers to Harrison, who looks it over. HARRISON [chuckles] Yes sir. BARTLET When I was 26, I wrote a paper supporting the deregulation of Far East trade barriers. Nearly got thrown out of the London School of Economics. I was young and stupid, and trying to make some noise. HARRISON Yes sir. BARTLET I'm gonna bring Toby Ziegler and Sam Seaborn in here and talk about this a little bit. HARRISON That's fine sir. BARTLET Okay. Charlie, please? CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - DAY Toby, Mandy and Sam are still waiting. Josh appears behind them. JOSH Toby, you got a minute? TOBY They're about to call me in. Josh and Toby go out into the HALLWAY. JOSH Privacy? TOBY I don't know. JOSH He doesn't acknowledge the protection? TOBY Hang on a second. JOSH When were you gonna tell me this? TOBY Number one: I don't report to you. JOSH Toby... TOBY Number two: He wrote the paper a quarter century ago. JOSH He hasn't changed his mind. TOBY We don't know whether he changed his mind or not. JOSH We don't care whether he changed his mind or not. You're painting a picture for the president. TOBY The president can paint his own picture. JOSH Yeah, but he listens to you. [beat] When did we get the idea that Harrison was our guy? When we used to talk it was never Harrison. CHARLIE [walks up] Toby? TOBY Yeah? CHARLIE They're ready for you. Charlie and Toby go inside. Josh walks the other way. CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY Leo is seated in a chair, reading. Margaret knocks and comes in. MARGARET Leo? LEO Yeah? MARGARET Josh was wondering if you had a moment. LEO Yeah. Margaret leaves. Josh comes in. JOSH Leo. LEO Hey. Josh closes the door. LEO I guess you're the guy with the worst job in the building this week, huh? JOSH [laughs] I was interrogating this intern from the Legislative Liaison's Office, and she broke down crying while telling me about the bong she had made out of an eggplant. LEO You can do that? JOSH I used to use a potato. LEO You've always been industrious. JOSH [goes around and sits across Leo] Lillienfield's not after that kid in the Liaison's Office, and he's not even after the Senior Staff. LEO Yeah. JOSH Leo, you... know the worst kept secret in Washington... is that you're a recovering alcoholic, right? LEO I had a hunch. They both chuckle. JOSH Leo, you're... Boston-Irish Catholic. Back there and back then, a drinking problem wasn't a problem. [beat] This isn't what he's after... Were you maybe into something that wasn't so acceptable? LEO [pause] Pills. JOSH Were you in treatment? LEO Sierra-Tucson. Six years ago. JOSH Leo... LEO Records kept by these facilities are confidential, Josh. JOSH [quietly] He's got 'em. Leo is shocked. Josh grabs Leo by his jacket and pats him. JOSH You're Leo McGarry. You're not gonna be taken down by this... small fraction of a man. [stands and opens the door] I won't permit it. Josh leaves and closes the door. Leo is still shocked. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY Bartlet and Harrison are now with Sam and Toby. HARRISON Judges are bound to interpret the Constitution within the strict parameters of the text itself. The Constitution doesn't provide for a right of privacy. The right doesn't exist. SAM The third amendment says soldiers can't be quartered in private homes. The fifth provides protection against self-incrimination, and the fourth against unreasonable searches. You deny the right to privacy lived in those passages? HARRISON No. I do not deny it, but the fact that the framers enumerated those specific protections is all the more reason to believe that they had no intention of making privacy a de facto right. SAM They just fought a revolution but they had no question of their freedom. The Bill of Rights wasn't meant to codify the most crucial of those rights not to limit the others. HARRISON I do this for a living, Mr. Seaborn. SAM So do I, your honor. BARTLET Peyton, do I have the right to put on an ugly plaid jacket and a loud polka-dot tie and walk down Main Street? HARRISON Yes. BARTLET Where in the Constitution is that right guaranteed? HARRISON First Amendment. Freedom of expression. BARTLET What about the use of cream in my coffee? Surely, there can be no free speech argument to be made there? HARRISON No. BARTLET So you have no objection to the state of New Hampshire passing a law banning use of cream in coffee? HARRISON I would have strong objection, Mr. President, as I like cream as well, but I would have no Constitutional basis to strike down the law when you brought this case to the Supreme Court. BARTLET As I lose the votes of coffee drinkers everywhere. CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY C.J. is going over some newspapers. Danny comes in carrying a fishbowl, with a goldfish swimming inside. DANNY Hey. C.J. Hey. DANNY What you doing? C.J. You were right. DANNY I know. C.J. The word 'subpoena' appears in the lead in every story of this morning's papers. DANNY I know. C.J. Not yours. DANNY That's just 'cause I couldn't spell it. C.J. What are you holding? DANNY It's a goldfish. C.J. Why? DANNY It's for you. C.J. Really? DANNY Josh said you liked goldfish. C.J. suddenly bursts out in laughter. Danny is puzzled. C.J. [out of her laugh] The crackers, Danny. The cheese things that you have at a party? DANNY Well... You know what, I'm not a hundred percent sure I'm supposed to know that. C.J. The crackers, Danny. DANNY Fine. Now I got a goldfish. C.J. [laughs] Give it to me. DANNY No. C.J. No, you'll kill it. DANNY You think I can't take care of a goldfish? C.J. I absolutely do not. [takes the fishbowl from Danny] DANNY The name's Gail, by the way. C.J. The fish? DANNY Yeah. C.J. You named it Gail? DANNY No, the guy in the store. C.J. [laughs again] Oh... That's... Come here. [kisses Danny on the cheek] Thanks for the fish. DANNY Keep your head in the game. Danny leaves. C.J. looks at the goldfish in the table. She looks at the door, and laughs once more. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY SAM In 1787, there was a sizable block of delegates who were initially opposed to the Bill of Rights. One member of the Georgia delegation had to stay by way of opposition: '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 longer. The framers knew...' HARRISON Were you just calling me a fool, Mr. Seaborn? SAM I wasn't calling you a fool, sir, the brand new state of Georgia was. HARRISON Gentlemen, laws must emanate from the Constitution. TOBY There are natural laws, judge. HARRISON I do not deny there are natural laws, Mr. Ziegler. I only deny that judges are empowered to enforce them. TOBY Then who will? HARRISON That's not up to me. And this sideshow is over. With all due respect, Mr. President, I find this kind of questioning very rude. SAM Well then, you're really gonna enjoy meeting the U.S. Senate. HARRISON Be that as it may, it's disgusting. We all know you need me as much as I need you. I read the same polling information you do. Seven to ten point bump, 90 votes, unanimous out of committee, I was courted. Now, you have me taken to school by some kid. Sam reacts to the remark. BARTLET This Sam is young, drives me nuts too, but he took you off for a ride, sir, because that's what I told him to do. HARRISON I am an extremely well credentialed man, Mr. President, and I'm unaccustomed to this sort of questioning. BARTLET I understand, Peyton. Could you give us a little time, please? We'll make you comfortable while you're waiting. HARRISON Certainly. BARTLET Thank you. Everyone stands as Harrison exits. SAM Put him on a bus. TOBY With a guaranteed confirmation we're sending out the door based on a 30-year-old paper, which by the way, no one will know about but us. BARTLET You don't think the guy who called Sam wouldn't know how to call a senator's office? TOBY Mr. President, if this is really about abortion, we already talked about... SAM It's not about abortion. It's about the next 20 years. Twenties and thirties, it was the role of government. Fifties and sixties, it was civil rights. The next two decades, it's gonna be privacy. I'm talking about the Internet. I'm talking about cellphones. I'm talking about health records, and who's gay and who's not. And moreover, in a country born on a will to be free, what could be more fundamental than this? BARTLET Toby? TOBY [beat] Let's meet Mendoza. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY Mandy knocks. Josh is inside looking out the window. MANDY They're meeting with Mendoza. JOSH Yeah. MANDY Yeah, and I'm just gonna go kill myself now. JOSH You think Mendoza would be a bad justice? MANDY I think Mendoza would make a great justice. I think he makes a lousy nominee. JOSH Why? MANDY He's ruled in favor of same sex marriages... JOSH He didn't rule in favor of it, Mandy. He's not recommending it. He's ruled that the state has no right to interfere with it. MANDY He's got the broadest possible interpretation for free speech. JOSH And listening to you sometimes, I honestly wish you'd narrow it, so... MANDY You don't have to tell me how to be a good person, Josh. I'm the one who has to sell this. And he is not exactly America's idea of Supreme Court justice. JOSH Mandy, I don't... MANDY Let's do a side-by-side comparison. [reads from piece of paper] Harrison went to Walnut Park Country Day, Phillips Exeter, and Princeton undergrad, and Harvard Law. Mendoza attended P.S. 138 in Brooklyn, City University of New York, and the New York Police Department. Harrison clerked for Warren Berger. Mendoza... JOSH [off of the top of his head] New York City Police Department '65 to '76, Assistant District Attorney Brooklyn '76 to '80, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eastern District, Federal District Judge, Eastern District -- Let me tell you something, Mendoza went to Law School the hard way. He got shot in the leg, and when they offered him a hundred percent dispensation, he took a desk job instead and went to law school at night. He's brilliant, decisive, compassionate, and experienced. And if you don't think that he's America's idea of a jurist, then you don't have enough faith in Americans. MANDY It's not Americans I don't have faith in, Josh. It's the White House Senior Staff. Josh scoffs. MANDY This is not gonna be an easy one, and if all hell breaks loose over Lillienfield, it could honestly cripple us for a year, maybe more. JOSH [sighs] Well, I mean, just the law of large numbers says We got to win one one of these days, right? MANDY Yeah. JOSH So let's make it a good one. MANDY I still hate you. JOSH Whatever. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Judge ROBERTO MENDOZA and two staffers are walking along the hallway. They pass the Communications Office. Margaret and Ed are at the door when the walk by. ED Who was that? MARGARET Roberto Mendoza. CUT TO: INT. THE MURAL ROOM - DAY Inside the closed room, Harrison is standing waiting. Charlie is seated at the corner. HARRISON It's not necessary for you to stay here. CHARLIE The president asked me to stay with you in case you needed anything. I'd be glad to stay outside if you prefer. HARRISON Yes, please. CHARLIE Would you like anything? HARRISON Coffee, please. CHARLIE Yes sir. [about to head out] HARRISON You look very familiar. Is it possible we've met? CHARLIE I caddied for two summers at Sandy Hooks, sir. HARRISON Ah. Yes, of course. CHARLIE Charlie Young. HARRISON Charlie, of course. CHARLIE I'll get your coffee. [leaves and closes the door] CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - DAY Bartlet, Toby and Sam are now meeting with Mendoza. BARTLET I'm sure we're almost done. Sam, what else you got? SAM Judge Mendoza, I have a note that your rulings have been upheld by the Court of Appeals more than any other district judge in the country. MENDOZA Well, that's what comes by being right most of the time, I guess. Bartlet laughs. Leo walks in. BARTLET You need me, Leo? LEO For just a moment, sir. BARTLET Would you excuse me? MENDOZA Certainly. Bartlet and Leo walk into LEO'S OFFICE. Leo closes the door. LEO Mr. President... BARTLET What is it, Leo? LEO There's gonna be trouble. BARTLET Lillienfield? LEO Yes sir. BARTLET He knows? LEO We think so. BARTLET We? LEO Josh has it. BARTLET What does Josh say? LEO Get through it. BARTLET Josh is a smart guy. LEO No sir. Josh is a young guy. BARTLET We used to be too. LEO Mr. President... BARTLET Did you have a drink yesterday? LEO No sir. BARTLET Are you gonna have one today? LEO No sir. BARTLET That's all you ever have to say to me. LEO You know it's gonna make things very hard for a while. BARTLET You fought in a war, got me elected, and you run the country. I think we all owe you one, don't you? CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Bartlet and Leo go back in. Charlie approaches Bartlet and whispers. CHARLIE Mr. President... BARTLET Did Harrison get off okay? CHARLIE Yes sir. There's a crowd building outside your office. BARTLET Why? CHARLIE I think word's gotten out what's going on in here, sir. BARTLET I'll bet it has. [turns to Sam] Do you have any more questions, Sam? SAM No sir. TOBY I have one, sir. MENDOZA Let me say that this is not an easy commission to get appointed to. TOBY Judge, without knowing details of special circumstance, what would you say of someone being fired from refusing to take a drug test at the order of the president? MENDOZA Without details of special circumstances? TOBY Yes sir. MENDOZA Without showing cause, I would say that the order constitutes an illegal search, and I would order that the employee be reinstated. BARTLET Toby? TOBY Sold. BARTLET Judge Mendoza, would it surprise you to learn that for the past few months, your name has been in the short list of candidates for the bench? MENDOZA Yes, Mr. President. BARTLET Well, then this is gonna knock your socks off. Tomorrow evening at 5 o'clock, I am naming you as my nominee to be the next associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. You were not the first choice, but you are the last one, and the right one. [beat] Will you accept the nomination? MENDOZA [beat] With honor. BARTLET Good. Everyone stands. BARTLET Thank you. Sam and Toby will be in charge of your confirmation. SAM Congratulations, Judge. MENDOZA Thank you. [shake hands] TOBY It's gonna be an excruciating battle, Mr. Justice, one I have no intention of losing. BARTLET What do you say, Leo? You up for a good fight? LEO I believe I have one in me, yes sir. BARTLET Good. Let the good fight begin. CUT TO: INT. OUTER OVAL OFFICE - DAY A large crowd is waiting just outside the Oval Office. Bartlet opens the door. BARTLET Mr. Justice Mendoza! Mendoza walks out with Sam, Toby, and Leo. Staffers outside, including Josh, Mandy, C.J. and Donna are clapping. Mendoza shakes hands with C.J. and then Josh. He makes his way down the line of people with the staff following behind him, as everyone continues to clap for the nominee. DISSOLVE TO: END TITLES. FADE TO BLACK. THE END * * * The West Wing and all its characters are properties of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Production, Warner Brothers Television, and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. Episode 1.9 -- 'The Short List' Original Airdate: November 24, 1999, 9:00 PM EST Transcript By: Giorgio August 16, 2000