As the President’s (Martin Sheen) staff wrangle with Speaker Haffley (Steven Culp) over the pending federal budget, Toby (Richard Schiff) dispatches former Supreme Court clerk and personal friend Joe Quincy (Matthew Perry) to check on the condition of the stricken Chief Justice (Milo O’Shea) — an ancient Supreme Court icon who has Washington wondering if he will finally step down. As the clock ticks on a new budget, hard-charging Angela (Michael Hyatt) faces a mighty challenge as she tries to hammer out an agreement that could compromise Bartlet’s campaign promises. But the President is also focused on a crucial national TV interview that Zoey (Elisabeth Moss) has agreed to tape with a well-known newswoman (Kathrin Lautner) with a knack for exposing raw emotions.
THE WEST WING "SEPARATION OF POWERS" WRITTEN BY: PAUL REDFORD DIRECTED BY: ALEX GRAVES TEASER FADE IN: INT. OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE - DAY A discussion of racial profiling by three paralegals. Chief Justice Roy Ashland sits at the head of the table, seemingly very out of it. He begins making a moaning sort of noise. FEMALE PARALEGAL Sir? CHIEF JUSTICE ROY ASHLAND [beginning to stand up] I have to do this before class. Finish my con law reading. PARALEGAL I'm sorry sir, I don't-- A buzzer sounds as an older woman enters the room. WOMAN They're ready, Mr. Chief Justice. Do you need help with that, sir? Ashland walks a few steps, then collapses. The three paralegals and a woman rush to him, talking over each other. PARALEGAL Helen, call an ambulance! FEMALE PARALEGAL Sir, sir! WOMAN Is he alright? CUT TO: INT. THE WHITE HOUSE - DAY TOBY Okay, here it is. Chief Justice Roy Ashland may not be enlarged in death beyond what he was in life: an idealist, not an icon, a man, not a monument... He and C.J. are walking through the HALLWAY. Toby is reading from a notepad. TOBY ...a believer in the irreducible power of the law to shape our society. C.J. Okay, but I gotta be careful about saying 'man.' TOBY? Why? Oh, come on! C.J. You'd be surprised, I get letters. TOBY Fine. Human being then, or do the other mammals complain? They walk past Will, who is sitting outside Toby's office. WILL Hey. TOBY Who said you could come in here? Toby, C.J., and Will all walk into TOBY'S OFFICE. WILL It's okay, I'm over the flu. TOBY Oh, you had the flu. WILL [ignoring Toby's sarcastic tone] Are we talking about possible replacements for Ashland yet? TOBY Granit, Keith, and Toland. And no, we're not talking about it. WILL So if the Vice President had a few additional names not to talk about, where would he offer not to... Toby gives Will a look. WILL Never mind, I think I can guess. C.J. Counsel's office. WILL I'm leaving now. C.J. Yet another researcher quit. WILL Wow, how many's that? C.J. The third since you quit. WILL Let me guess, he was turned off by the vow of poverty. TOBY Are you still here? WILL Flowers say 'I'm sorry.' TOBY Leave. Will leaves. C.J. You seem... happy. TOBY Excuse me? C.J. Happy. You know, sensation your fellow mammalians occasionally experience. TOBY Haffley's treating the discretionary budget like a chew toy. We're about to cave on tax cuts for billionaires and who the hell knows what else... Angela Blake is giving away in there. [shuts the office door] But you know what, we're going to appoint a new chief justice. Breathe new life into the Constitution. Do you know how rare that is? The last five guys didn't get to do it. We're gonna shape the future of jurisprudence, the laws that sustain our whole society, or shove somebody in there to strike down these God-awful excuses for laws the Republicans are passing. WILL [opens the door] Hey. Sorry, but there's news. TOBY Enough already. Buffalo Bob is not going to pick the next Chief Justice. WILL Neither is the President. Ashland regained consciousness. Seems it was only exhaustion and his doctors say he'll make a full recovery. Will leaves. C.J. and Toby look at each other. SMASH CUT TO: MAIN TITLES. END TEASER * * * ACT ONE FADE IN: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY Josh is staring at a T.V. screen. C.J. [on T.V.] First off, I wouldn't characterize it as a crisis or a breakdown. And while we're at it, here are some other things it's no: a showdown, a stalemate, a standoff, or a text-book example of partisan gridlock. JOSH Donna! Donna walks in, placing some papers in a file outside the office. JOSH Do you have any of those pills left from that naval doctor? DONNA Admiral Feel Good? JOSH The cold and sinus stuff? DONNA The ones that made you sing all of "Bye, Bye Miss American Pie"? Josh gets up from his desk and walks into the HALLWAY. JOSH It was Harry Chaipman. Those big blue ones. DONNA Bet you looked cute on that gurney when the airmen had to carry you off of Air Force One. They walk into the BULLPEN. JOSH C.J.'s making that up. DONNA I've got some echinacea. JOSH No. Nothing natural. I need the industrial strength, full-throttle stuff. Donna gives him some pills. DONNA Bartram from the Times called. JOSH About what? DONNA Budget stalemate. JOSH I don't know anything. DONNA That's what I told him. Josh looks at her. DONNA I mean not exactly, I said you were busy with you know, things, and couldn't do press calls. JOSH You should've said I was in the Oval. Didn't it occur to you to say I was in the Oval? DONNA I said you were working on the President's trip to Japan. You're only supposed to take one. Josh takes several of the pills. DONNA Stay away from heavy machinery. Josh gets some coffee. JOSH Fortunately Pa and I brought in the last of the winter wheat yesterday, so I don't have to operate the combine. DONNA What happens if we don't get a budget deal? JOSH Get another continuing resolution. DONNA See, here's what I don't get. Every year we take these continuing resolutions like the dog ate our homework... JOSH The Republican majority, but you're close. DONNA How come people aren't outraged? The rest of the country can't take endless amounts of time to finish their work. JOSH Well, you're forgetting the beauty of the federal budget process. DONNA What's that? JOSH No one understands it. DONNA [laughs] Yeah. CUT TO: INT. NORTHWEST LOBBY - DAY Charlie is walking with C.J. CHARLIE The Speaker's getting in front of a lot of microphones. I just got a call from Amale Garbel, said he's a second producer from ABC. C.J. Did you take the call? CHARLIE I didn't know who he was. C.J. He works for Diane Mathers. CHARLIE Yeah, I figured that out. He wanted to know about my statement to the Secret Service the night of Zoey's kidnapping. STAFFER [OS] Hey C.J., senior staff in two. C.J. The ecstasy? Did you talk to him about it? They pause in a doorway. CHARLIE Of course not. I took the guy's name very politely and I hung up very politely. What was I supposed to do? C.J. It's okay, you did the right thing. CHARLIE What do I do now? C.J. Nothing. I've got it from here. Thanks, Charlie. C.J. walks into the room while Charlie walks the other direction. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Leo is walking with Toby. TOBY He's not returning the President's calls? LEO He's in intensive care, I don't think they have a lot of phones in there. TOBY Intensive care? I thought it was... CNN said it was exhaustion. LEO Yeah. TOBY How do we know he's not...? LEO We don't. TOBY He's 84. LEO So? My grandfather lived to be 90. TOBY My grandfather lived to be 96 but the last 20 years he thought the Hapsburgs still lived in a palace in Vienna. How long before this gets dangerous, Leo? Before we've got a cadaver up there ruling on when life begins? LEO [softly] He's been a life-long ally of the President. TOBY We're talking about an empty robe, and I don't like this any more than you do. If Roy Ashland were a religion, I'd convert. But what happens if we wait until he's senile, or ends up in a coma? Then what? We go to our Republican Congress to impeach? Haffley'll never do that! He'll leave Ashland on a respirator until one of their guys is wearing the windbreaker on Air Force One. They walk into LEO'S OUTER OFFICE, where Will is waiting. WILL How are the budget negotiations going? LEO They were in there last night till midnight, back this morning at six. WILL And? LEO Apparently they're closer on maritime subsidies. WILL Is she in over her head? LEO It was already a mess. Angela's going to make the best deal she can and try to get us out of there in one piece. Leo, Toby, and Will walk into LEO'S OFFICE. TOBY The chief justice won't take the President's calls, maybe we need to send someone over there. LEO What, just show up with a bunch of balloons and some peanut brittle? TOBY It's time to get Ashland off the bench, Leo. WILL There's this thing called the Constitution? It's a nagging little document, I'll grant you, but-- LEO What's this about you breaking somebody's coffee mug? TOBY What? LEO Personnel says another one of your researchers quit, that you broke her mug. MARGARET It was a ceramic hippo. Leo looks at Margaret, who takes the hint and leaves. TOBY It got in the way of a misfiled copy of the Congressional record. LEO You were refilling with your throwing arm? TOBY Can we get back to the chief justice? LEO No. What is this, the fourth researcher this month? WILL Third. MARGARET Leo, he's ready for you. LEO [to Toby] Stop breaking things. I don't need the victims of hippo-gate filing class action suits. Leo walks into THE OVAL OFFICE. BARTLET [folding a newspaper] It's going to be a brisk 42 tomorrow. Time to break out that Irish fishing sweater that C.J. says makes me look like an Irish fisherman. Leo, C.J., Josh enter the Oval Office. Josh, who is sick, goes to sit next to C.J. C.J. [to Josh] Oh no! JOSH I'm past the infectious stage. C.J. [turning to the President] Excuse me, sir, if I may, this Diane Mathers interview... BARTLET You still have a problem? C.J. Yes I do... BARTLET Abbey thinks it'll be fine. C.J. Yes, sir... BARTLET I think so too. Where's Angela, Leo? Will and Toby enter and sit down. LEO They were here most of the night, came back first thing this morning. BARTLET She knew this was at ten? LEO She'll be here in a minute. BARTLET What else? TOBY Sir, the Chief Justice still isn't returning calls. BARTLET Yeah, I tried him a couple of times. They're saying it was exhaustion now? TOBY Yes, sir, but we can't get anyone to confirm it. His doctors are referring us back to his office. BARTLET Roy was a great friend, a great man. TOBY If his medical condition prevents him from performing his duties as... BARTLET He's the best judge of his capacities. Josh cracks his jaw. Everyone turns and looks at him. JOSH Sorry, I just took this sinus stuff. I think I just lost the hearing in my... my left ear. C.J. sneezes. LEO Oh, for God... God bless you. C.J. Sorry. I'm not getting it. JOSH I'm actually getting over it. WILL I'm completely over it. Angela enters and sits next to Toby. ANGELA Sorry to be late, sir. BARTLET So where are we? ANGELA Very close. Fifty billion. But the speaker will only give us the college tuition tax deduction if we reduce capital gains taxes by 50 percent and accept a ten percent corporate rate cut in our stimulus plan. Mr. President, I know this is painful, but if we offer to drop deductible tuition I think we can get them to drop cap gains and leave our stimulus. TOBY Excuse me? What are we talking about? ANGELA The proposed deduction... TOBY When was tuition put on the table?! C.J. It was a major campaign promise. TOBY It was the centerpiece of our re-elect! [turning to Josh] Josh, you just going to sit there? JOSH [after a pause] You gotta trust the person in the room. BARTLET Can we do this, Angela? ANGELA Yes sir. BARTLET Without the deficit topping 200 billion? ANGELA Mm-hmm. BARTLET [looking at Leo] Then everything else is on the table. Thanks everyone, that's it. Everyone except Leo and C.J. leaves. Bartlet goes to his desk. BARTLET 200 billion dollar deficit and Haffley wants tax cuts. Take away a few zeroes and he'd pass for a mob accountant. C.J. I'm sorry, Mister President, but I don't think Zoey should do this interview. BARTLET The Diane Mathers thing again? C.J. Charlie got a phone call from one of Mathers' producers. They got his statement to the Secret Service about Zoey considering taking the ecstasy and I think they might have Jean-Paul telling his side of the story. BARTLET Abbey thinks Zoey can handle it. C.J. Diane Mathers is very good at her job. Sir, if you won't let me cancel it, at least let me go up there, make sure she's prepared, run some interference. Bartlet nods. LEO Take the earliest flight up tomorrow. C.J. Thank you, Mister President. [leaves] LEO If you'd like sir, you could travel up with C.J., we could check with advance. BARTLET [looking up from some papers] And Abbey? Who's going to check with her? Leo looks down, nods. LEO On the Chief Justice? BARTLET Hmm? LEO The Chief? Do you think we should try to...? BARTLET Yeah. It's time. LEO Thank you, sir. Leo heads towards his office. BARTLET Leo. Do it delicately. Bartlet takes off his glasses and sighs. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY ANGELA Josh! Do you have a second? JOSH [blowing his nose] Yeah. ANGELA I need to get in a counter offer by this afternoon. The guys at OMB said you have all the current budget docs, budget break-downs, treasury forecasts? JOSH Yeah, we started a couple of months ago. ANGELA I wonder if I could get it, and borrow a body to help me sort through it? JOSH I got the governors coming in on emission standards, the Japan trip... ANGELA The guy at OMB said someone named Donna. Knows the docs inside out. ANGELA I know you're a hell of a ?? JOSH Donna Moss. Okay. Sure. ANGELA You're a prince. They part. CUT TO: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY TOBY You were looking for me? MARGARET The labor folks are waiting for you in the Roosevelt Room. TOBY Deductible tuition! What's next? We could save a few bucks by shutting the east wing, turn the south lawn into the mother of all garage sales. LEO We're facing our third CR. TOBY It's process, Leo! Two months from now no one will give a damn about continuing resolutions! LEO You wanted more responsibility? TOBY What about it? LEO The Chief Justice. The president knows it's time. TOBY That's not so simple. LEO That's why I'm giving it to you. TOBY We can't force him to resign. LEO Yeah. No, we can't. Leo leaves the office. FADE OUT. END ACT ONE * * * ACT TWO FADE IN: INT. HALLWAY - DAY TOBY Hey, Joe? Joe Quincy, White House associate counsel, turns around. JOE Hey, Toby, how ya been? TOBY Good. You? JOE Fine. TOBY You used to clerk for the Chief Justice. That's interesting. JOE Is it? I don't know, I mean if you find it interesting... TOBY I've just never heard you mention it. Guys around here with two-bit appellate courtships staple it to their foreheads. JOE I can't do it, Toby, I'm sorry. Joe turns, and the two of them begin walking down the HALLWAY. TOBY You haven't even heard what I'm going to say. JOE You want me to do the approach, about getting him to resign. TOBY I didn't say that. JOE I can do the math. You've got a limited amount of time to pick the next guy and get him confirmed before the midterms politicize everything. But I work for you. It's a question of propriety. TOBY I see. JOE Do you? The White House can't be seen as pressuring a Supreme Court Justice to change his breakfast order, let alone resign. Separation of powers. TOBY I see. JOE You say that, but in a way that makes me wonder if you really do. TOBY The President sets the direction of the Court. I've read the Constitution too. JOE He sets it when there's a vacancy. TOBY You don't have to ask him to resign, only to sit down with the President. JOE You're talking about a guy who stood up to six Administrations, 22 Congresses, and at one time or another had half the country ready to lynch him. You think a former clerk can pry him lose? I got a meeting at the OEOB. Joe turns and walks away. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S BULLPEN AREA - DAY Josh and Donna are walking through the bullpen. DONNA What am I, chattel? There's a request for everything we have on the budget from Angela Blake's office. JOSH Yeah, I authorized it. DONNA [surprised] You did? JOSH Yeah. They enter JOSH'S OFFICE. DONNA You know they've also asked me to go with the files, a sort of living index if you will for Angela Blake. JOSH We can call her Angela now. DONNA You authorized that too? JOSH Sure. Did we ever get specifics for...? DONNA On the trade bill? Right here. She hands Josh a file from his desk. Josh sits down and begins to read the file. CUT TO: INT. C.J.'S OFFICE - DAY Charlie is walking down the hallway to C.J.'s office. C.J. [OS] The NEC chair can brief in my place on budget negotiations... Charlie stands in the doorway. C.J. is moving around her office putting away files, still talking loudly. C.J. ...I need HHS public affairs, DPC, Toby, and Will to walk them through the talking points, any key developments on the Hill. I have to phone AP and the Post... [notices Charlie] Hey Charlie. Because I'm still playing catch-up for leaking that exclusive on DOD approps to the Times. [walks to the door] Carol? CHARLIE She's not out here. C.J. I was just talking to her... C.J. realizes Carol isn't there. She shakes her head, turns to Charlie. CHARLIE I wasn't sure if I was going to see you again before you left. Can you give this to Zoey? Charlie hands a CD to C.J. She looks at the cover. C.J. I love Macy Gray. CHARLIE Zoey's been in a solo, whispery, female acoustic kind of rut right now. I'm trying to get her to listen to something with drums. C.J. How about some John Phillips Sousa? CHARLIE Drums, but not so much with the batons. [pause] My mom used to watch Diane Mathers all the time. C.J. Yeah? CHARLIE When she had that talkshow? She seemed nice, sympathetic, sincere. C.J. This is a woman who gets dictators to cry, talk about their love of puppies and momma's cooking, confess they had the concentration camps built because they couldn't get a date for the prom. CHARLIE [smiling] Zoey's gonna be fine, you know. C.J. So everyone keeps saying. The President hasn't changed his mind about coming? CHARLIE No. C.J. I thought he would in the end. CUT TO: INT. THE ROOSEVELT ROOM - DAY Angela and Donna are seated, going over some notes. ANGELA They came up with it in a bar? DONNA Yeah. It was that or the hops deduction. They laugh. DONNA There was a guy named Matt Kelley and he was making 50,000 a year. His daughter got into Notre Dame. ANGELA So? DONNA So, the Bermuda Corporation gets a deduction when they buy off their CEO for a hundred million a year. Why not pass a break for a guy like Matt? Angela looks skeptical. DONNA You don't think so? ANGELA If his daughter had needed braces, would Josh and Toby have come up with a plan for universal orthodontia? DONNA Not a chance, huh? ANGELA We can still get tax-deductible tuition. We can get a lot of things. We got to get them to give it, that's all. How do you think we're doing? DONNA [smiles shyly] Me? I don't... ANGELA You're an American citizen, you pay taxes, consume government services. Donna considers for a moment, tucking her hair behind her ear. DONNA I think... our side has done a bad job explaining that what we're fighting for is important. It's not about abstract programs and endless acronyms, but real things that affect real people, like affording college. ANGELA You talk to Josh about this? CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY - DAY Toby falls into step beside Joe. JOE We both going to the ONDCP briefing? TOBY No. We're going in here. He holds open a door to a ROOM. Joe enters, and Toby closes the door. JOE Gee Toby, people are going to talk. Toby sighs. TOBY I'm curious. It wouldn't be for the obvious reason, would it? JOE What's the obvious reason? TOBY You're a conservative. Maybe you'd love to see him stay on the bench. A liberal icon reduced to a quivering mass of octogenarian confusion! JOE Hold on... TOBY Hanging on until he can be replaced by a paleo Republican! The Constitution's a living document. You stick to it like it's a boiler plate lease! JOE You don't know what the hell you're talking about! TOBY Okay. JOE Every year, he likes to hire a conservative clerk to argue with, and arguing with him helped me to clarify the things I believe in. And one of those things is an independent court, above party or interests. TOBY He has memory lapses. He drifts during oral arguments. JOE He has his good and bad days. TOBY The associate Justices are already postponing decisions, holding over important cases, going behind his back to assign opinions! JOE You don't know that. TOBY Yeah, I do. There's no one else left, Joe. He's outlived his wife, his son was shot down over Hanoi. There's just his clerks, clerks like you. JOE You can't do anything! TOBY Let's go over there together right now, you and me. JOE To the hospital? TOBY He'll see you. You tell me he's okay, and I'll call off the vultures. CUT TO: INT. A HOSPITAL ELEVATOR - DAY Toby and Joe stand, not talking. The doors open, and they exit, approaching a young woman, who works in the Chief Justice's office. JOE Hey Lisa, you catch the night shift? LISA ZIMMER [standing] Six to midnight. Steve's coming in to handle the overnights. They hug. JOE This is Toby Ziegler. Toby, this is Lisa Zimmer, one of the Justice's clerks. LISA Sure, I've seen you on Crossfire. I hope you won't be offended, Mr. Ziegler, but we're keeping it to family only. You know, friends, colleagues. TOBY I just came along to keep Joe company. I saw a coffee cart in the lobby. You want anything? JOE I'm good. TOBY Lisa? Lisa shakes her head. TOBY I'll be downstairs when you're done. Toby turns and walks back towards the elevator. JOE So? LISA I don't know what they've told you, but he always bounces back. Joe looks concerned. He starts to go down the HALLWAY. LISA Joe. Joe turns around. LISA He always does. Joe enters the CHIEF JUSTICE'S ROOM. JOE Sir? Mr. Chief Justice? Joe approaches the Justice's bed. We hear beeping in the background. The Chief Justice is unconscious. We see that he is attached to a number of medical monitors, including an oxygen mask. Joe looks concerned and alarmed. Clearly, he did not expect the Justice to be this badly off. Joe pulls the blanket up. CUT TO: EXT. OUTSIDE THE HOSPITAL - DAY TOBY Joe? JOE I gave him the President's regards. TOBY What'd he say? How is he? Was he coherent? JOE You know why I didn't want it to spread that I clerked for him? Because I knew someday somebody like you would come up to me and ask me to do something like this. TOBY So he's alright? JOE [disgusted and angry] You guys. You think it's all a game. You're treating the Court like it's Tamany Hall gone national. TOBY Your side does it better, pushing neo-conservatives in swaddling clothes, hoping they don't grow a conscience, let alone a meager understanding of jurisprudence. JOE Maybe we could all do it better. But there is such a thing called judicial independence. A lifetime appointment! He's still alive so he gets to decide when it's time! TOBY [softly] What did he'd say? Or can he even speak? JOE He's fine, Toby. He was up, joking. He'll be back in chambers in a couple of days. Joe walks away. Toby watches him go. FADE OUT. END ACT TWO * * * ACT THREE FADE IN: EXT. A DIRT ROAD - DAY A car drives down a dirt road. We see Abbey and Zoey on the porch of the MANCHESTER HOUSE as the car pulls up. In the background, a T.V. crew sets up equipment. Abbey touches Zoey's shoulder as she goes inside the house. C.J. gets out of the car and smiles at Zoey. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - DAY Josh sneezes and blows his nose. Margaret walks up. MARGARET Hey, how are you feeling? JOSH Good! MARGARET [hands him some papers] The President's remarks on opening Japan's microchip market, and complaining about autos and flat glass. JOSH Flat glass, excellent! Margaret just looks at him. JOSH It's a new thing I'm doing, sort of a positive attitude thing. MARGARET Just thought I'd check to see if you needed anything. Donna's still helping Angela. JOSH Still? MARGARET Yeah, I guess the negotiations went pretty late after 2:00. They're due to resume in about 20 minutes. JOSH [disbelieving] Donna's in the budget negotiations? MARGARET [nods] I guess. JOSH [not looking particularly happy] Outstanding! Margaret turns and leaves. CUT TO: INT. TOBY'S OFFICE - DAY Toby is at his desk. Joe walks in and shuts the door. JOE How's it going? TOBY [clears his throat] I think I'm coming down with something. JOE I'm sorry. TOBY You say that, but in a way that makes me wonder if you really are. Joe sits down across from Toby. JOE I can still feel it, you know. The first time I ever got called in to his office and yelled at about something he'd read in my law review note. He'd read my law review note! And all I could think was, this is the guy. He's why a cop has to read a criminal his rights. He's why a couple of mixed race can get married in the state of Texas. I spent three nights as a one-L trying to pick apart his Baines versus U.S. Steel. I couldn't do it. Toby smiles briefly, sits back in his chair. TOBY I was in a room with Ashland once. Toby gets up, walks around his desk, and perches on the side. TOBY I was a student at City College. Student organizing committee got him to give a speech about the history of voting rights. We were hanging from the rafters. Joe smiles. TOBY I talked to him afterwards. I mean, he wouldn't remember me. But I spent the next six weeks organizing a voter registration drive. You know when you go out West how they say, don't miss the Grand Canyon, it's one of the few things in life that when you see it, it doesn't disappoint? That's Roy Ashland. JOE [beat] He was unconscious last night. Never came out of it, never said a word. TOBY [sighs] I don't want to see him gone, Joe. I want nine Ashlands on the court. I just-I just wish he was 40 years younger. CUT TO: INT. MANCHESTER HOUSE - DAY C.J. is giving advice to Zoey and Abbey. We see Secret Service agents outside. C.J. Diane likes to keep things warm, casual, but she'll try to zing you with some indirect attribution like "People say," or "There's a rumor that." ABBEY For example? C.J. There's a rumor that you're seeing a therapist. ABBEY [immediately and a little defensively] You don't have to answer that. C.J. [calmly] If you don't answer, she'll just wait, like an infinitely forgiving, infinitely patient cross between the Virgin Mary and a schnouzer. ABBEY It's nobody's business. ZOEY Mom, I want to answer. Yes, I'm seeing a therapist. C.J. Okay. ZOEY I couldn't have dealt with this completely on my own, and I've had lots of support from friends and family, but I also needed help. I've gotten some, and it's, you know, been good. C.J. The help's helped. ZOEY [laughs] Great, I'll use that, thanks. C.J. Zoey, we need to take a moment and talk about that night at the club with Jean-Paul. Had you agreed to take drugs? Abbey looks down. CUT TO: INT. NORTHWEST LOBBY - DAY Men and women in dark suits are leaving the building. Josh watches them go by, then walks in to THE ROOSEVELT ROOM, where Donna, Angela, Leo, and some staffers are. JOSH What's going on? LEO We're having a bit of a breakdown. If "breakdown" is the word. ANGELA Works for me. JOSH What happened? STAFFER They don't want to deal is what happened. The capital gains cut... ANGELA [breaks in] They came back and said it's not negotiable. They want to make it bigger. JOSH So, what now? ANGELA Another continuing resolution, till Christmas this time. JOSH You've got to be kidding. You let it drag on that long, they'll try to de-fund the Yule log. ANGELA It gets better. They're not willing to continue funding at the current level. They want a one percent cut on everything except defense and homeland security. JOSH How could this happen? LEO [a note of warning in his voice] Josh. JOSH No, Leo. How is this acceptable? Haffley's not the Prime Minister. You take this to the President, you know what he'll say? LEO He'll say yes. JOSH How can you say that? LEO To keep the lights on. To make sure a couple million federal employees keep on getting paid. It's two more months. JOSH This isn't governing, it's duck and cover. LEO He'll say that, too. Leo leaves. Angela and Donna get up and start gathering their things. JOSH At least be... ANGELA What? JOSH I don't know. Embarrassed. DONNA It wasn't her. JOSH What? DONNA You know the hand she was dealt. JOSH You're saying it was me. DONNA No. I'm saying we may have won in a landslide, but we didn't take Congress with us, and now it looks like we're not taking the country with us, and the other guys know it. They look at each other for a moment. DONNA Gotta get back to work. Donna leaves. Josh stares off into space for a moment. JOSH It's nice when you make new friends. ANGELA You know, all this time she's been fighting for you, for your plan to send everyone to college. JOSH It's not a bad plan. ANGELA No, and they didn't think so either. I even think they wanted to go along with it, run ads they voted for it. But we'd have had to squeeze Medicaid, the EITC, poor people paying for college kids and Wall Street. I don't think that Jed Bartlet would have signed off on that! Josh leaves the room before she finishes. Angela sighs. ANGELA [to an empty room] I got you till Christmas. CUT TO: INT. THE CHIEF JUSTICE'S HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY Joe enters the room. JOE Sir? Ashland looks up. ASHLAND Mr. Quincy. Back to argue McLode v. Transportation security? JOE [smiling] Suspect class. Strict scrutiny. ASHLAND No no no, you work for the President now. That would be ex parte. JOE I'm glad to see you're doing better, sir. ASHLAND This just a social visit? JOE No sir, it's not. ASHLAND The President sent you. JOE Yes sir, he did. ASHLAND I think it's time we called each other by our first names, Joe, don't you? JOE Yes sir, Mr. Chief Justice. Ashland laughs and pats Joe's hand. FADE OUT. END ACT THREE * * * ACT FOUR FADE IN: INT. LEO'S OFFICE - DAY Toby walks in. Leo looks up from his papers. TOBY Now what? LEO Another continuing resolution to take us through the holidays. TOBY So now we won't have a budget until we're up against the State of the Union. LEO Anything on Ashland? TOBY He's coming over to see the President. LEO When? TOBY Now. LEO You're kidding. TOBY I just got off the phone with Joe Quincy. MARGARET [OS] The President's ready. LEO Well, that's great. Leo gets up and walks towards the door that connects to the Oval Office. Before he leaves, Toby speaks again. TOBY Leo. We gave away college tuition for nothing. LEO Good work on the Chief Justice. Leo enters the Oval Office. CUT TO: INT. MANCHESTER HOUSE - DAY Zoey is seated on a sofa, dressed nicely in a shirt and skirt, talking to Diane Mathers. Video equipment fills one half of the room. ZOEY I don't think anyone should try to go through something like this alone. DIANE MATHERS And has it helped? ZOEY Yes. The help's helped. She pauses. Diane doesn't react, so Zoey continues. ZOEY A lot. DIANE I think we can all see that. ZOEY Good, I'm glad. DIANE Zoey, I know this will be difficult. But what happened that night at the club with Jean-Paul and the ecstasy? We see Abbey and C.J. standing off to one side, watching the interview. DIANE You know he says that you... ZOEY I know what he says. DIANE You sound angry. ZOEY I am angry. But the only thing I can do, the only thing any of us can do, is to tell the truth about what happened to us, and try to find a way to live with the shame and self-doubt that comes with having trusted someone who then betrayed you. DIANE Is there anything you'd like to say to Jean-Paul? Her voice fades as the camera follows Abbey, who has left the room, her hand over her mouth. C.J. follows her. ABBEY [distraught] How much longer? C.J. She'll be wrapping up. That was her big gun. ABBEY Thank you. She did well. You did an excellent job. C.J. You, too. ABBEY That's why she needed time up here. C.J. I meant you've raised a remarkable young woman. ABBEY Oh. She was always Jed's little girl. [smiles, a bit wistfully] C.J. [beat] Mrs. Bartlet, may I say, we miss you. ABBEY That's very kind. Please don't be offended if I say I don't miss you. They both laugh, but a bit awkwardly. C.J. It's been very busy. The budget, Japan in a few weeks, and the Chief Justice... ABBEY We get newspapers up here, C.J., you don't have to apologize for him not coming. I asked him not to. CUT TO: INT. NORTHWEST LOBBY - NIGHT Joe and Toby watch as Ashland is wheeled in. Joe walks over to him and talks the wheelchair handles from Lisa. Joe pushes Ashland to the OUTER OVAL OFFICE, where Leo is waiting. CHARLIE He's just getting off the phone with his daughter. I'll let him know you're here, sir. They all wait for a moment. Charlie comes back. CHARLIE Please. Joe starts to push the chair. ASHLAND No. I can walk. Ashland slowly pushes himself up from his chair. LEO Mr. Chief Justice. Ashland walks into THE OVAL OFFICE. TOBY [to Joe] Thank you. JOE I didn't do it for you. CUT TO: INT. THE OVAL OFFICE - CONTINUOUS Bartlet walks from behind his desk. BARTLET [warmly] Chief. They shake hands. ASHLAND By God, Jed, you look terrible. BARTLET Well, yes, there's something going around. They sit down, Bartlet helping Ashland. BARTLET I'm glad to see you doing so well, sir. ASHLAND Are you? BARTLET Yes, I am. ASHLAND Can you do it? BARTLET I don't want to. But if it's time, if your condition warrants. ASHLAND Who'd you get to replace me? BARTLET I'd hoped to consult with you. ASHLAND Holmes. BARTLET Holmes? ASHLAND Oliver Wendell. Marshall, John or Thurgood, either one. I want Brandeis, Blackman, Douglass. But you can't get them, can you? Because it's all compromises now, the ones who have no record of scholarship, no body of opinions, nothing you can hold them to, that's who they'll confirm, raging mediocrities. BARTLET The other eight are preparing to take it away from you, Roy. Holding over cases, the major decisions. How long can the country wait? ASHLAND My clerks are preparing a brief. There's an Arab-American man, grabbed out of a line at the airport. What's next? Tribunals, identity cards, bar codes tattooed on our forearms? BARTLET Then give me a name. ASHLAND Daniel Robenov, New York State Supreme Court. Susan Bengaly, Ninth Circuit. [shakes his finger at Bartlet] But they won't confirm them, will they? I have good days, and bad. But on my worst day, I am better than the ambulance chasers you can get confirmed by the Senate. You can't do it, Jed. You're not strong enough. The Speaker's running the table. And I can't take a chance. Outside, lightning flashes. Bartlet looks pensive. CUT TO: INT. JOSH'S OFFICE - NIGHT Donna sticks her head in. DONNA They're here. Josh gets up immediately and follows her out of the office. We see Haffley and his aides get out of cars outside of THE WEST WING, then walk though the LOBBY. Josh and Donna join Will outside the BULLPEN AREA as the Republicans walk by. JOSH They all here? WILL Yeah. JOSH [to Donna] Go. Donna looks hesitant. JOSH Go. Donna nods and walks after the Republicans into THE ROOSEVELT ROOM. Inside, many people are milling around and talking. Bob Russell walks up to Haffley. RUSSELL Mr. Speaker. HAFFLEY Mr. Vice President. LEO [to Haffley] The President is finishing up a meeting. He'll be right in. SENATOR ROBERT ROYCE [R - PA] approaches Leo. ROBERT ROYCE Any word on the Chief Justice? LEO That's the meeting. ROYCE He's in the White House? LEO Came straight from his adjustable bed. Man's a force of nature. Bartlet enters the room. Everyone takes their places around the table, including Bartlet, Russell, Leo, Angela, Donna, Haffley, and Royce. BARTLET Mr. Speaker, Senator. ROYCE I want to thank you, Mr. President, on behalf of my colleagues. None of us thinks this is a perfect deal. No one likes to see the sausage made, including the guys who make it. But this is an expression of willingness by both sides to keep all avenues open to an eventual resolution. BARTLET Yes, thanks, Robert. And thanks for saying it this time. I think I had to make that little speech the last time around. Everyone smiles. BARTLET Or maybe the time before. This is our third CR, our third time coming up short. We have to do better. People aren't paying us to duck the hard choices. You want to run through the details, Angela? Everyone sits down. ANGELA An act of Congress. Continuing resolution to extend no later than January 3rd, midnight, to include a reduction of one percent. HAFFLEY Excuse me, Mr. President, I'm sorry. There's been a change. I know we talked about a one percent cut. It's going to have to be three. ANGELA Mr. Speaker, nothing like this was even mentioned, much less disc-- BARTLET Hold on. HAFFLEY I'm sorry I couldn't give more notice, but I just came from our conference, and I had significant opposition to only one percent. BARTLET Only one percent. HAFFLEY Yes, sir. BARTLET We had a deal at one percent. HAFFLEY But now my members have to go back to their districts for the holidays, explain why we kept the gravy train running with a rising deficit and an economy crying out for tax relief. It's an economic situation that calls for action, not status quo spending. Now three percent may sound painful but it's only for two months. It'll show we're serious. BARTLET What's next? HAFFLEY Sir? BARTLET In two months. Five percent? 50? How many rounds do we go, Jeff? I'm just asking. HAFFLEY There is no next, sir. I mean not to get too technical, but this government runs out of money at midnight. And my guys are going home. This is it. Bartlet considers this for a moment. Then he shakes his head. BARTLET No. HAFFLEY There is no altering this offer, Mr. President. Bartlet stands. Everyone else quickly follow. BARTLET And I said no. HAFFLEY Let's be clear, sir. We cannot, we will not, vote to keep on footing the bill. You will be held responsible for shutting down the federal government. BARTLET Then shut it down. The lights shut off. DISSOLVE TO: END CREDITS. FADE TO BLACK. THE END * * * The West Wing and all its characters are a property of Aaron Sorkin, John Wells Production, Warner Brothers Television and NBC. No copyright infringement is intended. Episode 5.07 – "Separation of Powers" Original Air Date: November 12, 2003, 9:00 PM EST Transcibed by: The Vault