West Wing
Separation Of Powers

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Deborah: C+ | 3 USERS: A
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One Foot In The Grave

C.J. and Leo hang around, while Jed gripes: "Two-hundred-billion-dollar deficit, and Haffley wants tax cuts. Take away a few zeroes, and he'd pass for a mob accountant." C.J. comes at Jed again about the Mathers interview; she gets him to agree that she should go up to Manchester and prepare Zoey. She thanks him and leaves. Leo tells Jed, "If you'd like, sir, you could travel up with C.J. We could check with Advance..." Jed: "And Abby? Who's going to check with her?" Leo decides that's a snake pit he'd rather not go poking sticks into right now, and moves on to Ashland: "Do you think we should try to...." Jed: "Yeah. It's time." Leo thanks him and leaves. Jed warns Leo as he's going to "do it delicately."

Angela catches up to Josh in the hall, where he's molesting his nose with a Kleenex. She says that she needs to get a counter-offer out by this afternoon, and that she's been told by OMB that he has all the current budget documents. Josh says they started on that a couple of months ago. Angela: "[It'd] be great if I could get it, and borrow a body to help me slog through it." Josh says he's got a lot on his plate right now. Angela's been told by someone at OMB that someone named Donna knows the documents inside out: "I'd owe you a hell of a swordfish steak at Kinkead's." Yeah, I'll bet swordfish sounds real tasty to Josh about now. And why wouldn't he want to spend the evening having dinner with his replacement? Even dinner with Swimtern probably seems a more appetizing prospect. Anyway, Josh gives up Donna, too, in his weakened state. Angela: "You're a prince."

Toby's been summoned back to Leo's office. He gripes about sacrificing the deductible-college-tuition plan: "What's next? We could save a few bucks by shuttering the East Wing, turning the South Lawn into the mother of all garage sales." Leo says he's charging Toby with the responsibility for giving Ashland the bum's ru-- I mean, "easing him out of his position." Toby: "That's not so simple." Leo: "That's why I'm giving it to you." Toby says they can't force Ashland to resign. Leo agrees and takes off, leaving Toby to ponder his own resignation.

Toby finds Joe Quincy (remember him?) in the hallway. Matthew Perry's doing a fine job, and he fits in well, but I just can't stop seeing Chandler. I suppose that will go away in time, like in thirty or forty years. Toby mentions that Joe clerked for Ashland, and says that it's interesting. Joe can't imagine why that would be terribly interesting, but is polite about it. Toby: "Guys around here with two-bit appellate clerkships staple it to their foreheads." Joe quickly susses Toby's interest in his relationship to Ashland, and says he can't do it. He walks away, and Toby follows, claiming he didn't say anything about getting Joe to approach Ashland about resigning. Joe says he 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 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." Joe starts to wander away as Toby says, "The President sets the direction of the court. I've read the Constitution, too." Joe points out that POTUS sets the court's direction when there's a vacancy. Toby: "You don't have to ask him to resign; only to sit down with the President." Joe replies, "You're talking about a guy that stood up to six administrations, twenty-two Congresses, and at one time or another, had half the country ready to lynch him. You think a former clerk can pry him loose?" He stalks off to a meeting at the OEOB.

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West Wing

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