In the Office of O, Jed is hearing Josh's idea. Toby argues that the Republicans will pick a young ideologue who will occupy the seat for an enormously long time. Josh has no problem with this; that person and Lang will articulate both ends of the spectrum of any debate. Jed muses that filling Supreme Court seats is one of the few things he'll do in office that will actually last, and reminds them that Shelton is a good choice, and that if Ashland resigns in a year, they'll have "a stack of great options." He doesn't see how they can give away Brady's seat. Josh reminds Jed, however, that doing it his way will put "the first woman in that chair." Toby argues that if they alienate the Senate, it could choose to stall for three years and give them nobody. Eh, I'm not sure that's likely with a high-profile seat like one on the Supreme Court. Jed considers what they've both said, and tells Josh to go to Ashland and see what he says.
At Ashland's office later, Toby and Josh sit waiting to speak to him. "How'd you come up with it?" Toby asks. "The swapetty-do?" Josh smiles and starts to say, "Donna's mom --" He stops. "I -- thought it up -- in the shower," he says unconvincingly. Ashland enters from behind them and asks his clerk, who's with him, who Josh and Toby are. He doesn't wait for a response. "Carrier pigeons," he mutters as he takes off his jacket. Ashland points out the sorry-to-hear-about-your-death bouquet that Swimtern sent, for which Josh apologizes profusely. Ashland sits at the table with Toby and Josh. "Brady was your age," Ashland tells Toby. "Eat your grains." Yeah, no kidding, Toby. And fewer of the twenty-hour workdays probably wouldn't hurt, either. "He was a great man," Toby says gently. "He was a selfish bastard," Ashland comes back. Toby nods and smiles like, "Um, okay. That, too." Josh brings up Ashland's previous comment to Jed about the administration's inability to get a liberal confirmed, and Toby asks whether Ashland is familiar with Lang. Ashland seems excited, but points out that the "pit bulls" won't like the idea of Lang in Brady's seat. Now, it's time for the other news. "For your seat," Josh says simply. "If you were to resign, she'd be chief." Ashland takes this in for a moment. "My seat," he says. "What about Brady's?" They tell him that the Republicans will fill it -- with someone of whom Ashland will likely be substantially less fond. Ashland smiles and leans back, considering. Josh asks whether he might go for it. "Suuuure," Ashland says, with a wave of his hand. He tells Josh to imagine who will be chosen -- "what segregationist, anti-miscegenationist, Isaiah-quoting, gay-bashing bastard they come up with." He yells a couple of guesses to his clerk, and then tips his cup to Josh and Toby.