West Wing
The Short List

Episode Report Card
Deborah: B- | 3 USERS: A
The Short List

After the commercials, it's back to the Oval Office, where Sam and Toby and Jed are grilling Harrison. Harrison's position is that judges are bound to interpret the constitution with the strict parameters set out by that text; the right to privacy is not enshrined therein. Sam points out that the right to privacy lives in certain passages of various amendments. Harrison agrees but takes the position that the framers of the constitution deliberately named those rights means that privacy was not intended to be a de facto right. Sam counters that the Bill of Rights was only meant to codify the most crucial rights, not to limit all others. Harrison snottily tells Sam, "I do this for a living, Mr. Seaborn." Sam: "So do I, your Honour." Jed butts in: "Peyton, do I have the right to put on an ugly plaid jacket and a loud polka-dot tie and walk down Main Street?" (Yes, but with all due respect, Mr. President, please don't do that.) Harrison allows that he does, and that such right is protected by the First Amendment. Jed then wants to know whether he would have any objection to, for example, the state of New Hampshire banning the use of cream in coffee, a right not protected by freedom of expression. Harrison admits he'd have a strong objection but would not have any constitutional basis upon which to strike down the law if the case was brought before him.

Cut to C.J.'s office, where she's reading the newspapers. Danny appears in the doorway (apparently, the only place in the White House he does not get to roam freely is the Oval Office) bearing a bowl with a goldfish in it. She admits right off the bat that he was right -- the word "subpoena" appears in the lead of every story about the briefing in every newspaper...except his. Danny says, "That's just 'cause I couldn't spell it." Heh. C.J. asks what he's holding, although it's pretty self-evident. He says it's a goldfish and she asks the better question, "Why?" He tells her it's for her, and her puzzled reaction prompts him to add that Josh told him she liked goldfish. She looks at the fish for a moment, and then snorts and bursts out laughing. (Allison Janney has a great laugh.) C.J. continues laughing and Danny looks confused and crestfallen and I have to admit, I felt a little bad for him. She explains, "The crackers, Danny. The cheese things that you have at a party?" She's still giggling. Danny replies, "Aw...well. I'm not 100% sure I was supposed to know that." She repeats, "The crackers, Danny." He's all, well fine, I got me a goldfish. C.J.'s still laughing her butt off and says, "Give it to me. You'll kill it." Danny asks her if she thinks he can't take of a goldfish. C.J.: "I absolutely do not." She holds the bowl up to look at it and Danny tells her its name is Gail. C.J. seems charmed by this: "You named it Gail?" Danny shrugs: "No, the guy in the store." She sets the bowl on her desk, still laughing. She tells him to come here, and he leans over the desk and she gives him a little smooch on his left cheek. "Thanks for the fish!" Danny is clearly surprised that for once, he hasn't pissed her off. He says, "Keep your head in the game." Hmm? Whatever. Also for once, he has the sense to leave while he's ahead. C.J. sits down, and laughs some more, looking at Gail. I admit, I like Danny a wee bit better now. (I'm a sucker for a romantic gesture.)

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West Wing




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