In the Office of O, Jed is questioning Shelton about affirmative action. He, predictably, has no opinion. "I don't position myself on issues," he says, "and I don't know what I think about a case until I hear it." He goes on to talk about what it means to be a moderate, and Jed asks him whether he thinks Jed wants him to vote with Ashland. Shelton basically tells him yes, though he tries to say it more diplomatically than that. He breaks the news, though, that he's no ideologue: "My allegiance to the eccentricities of a case will outweigh my allegiance to any position you might wish I held," he says. And see, he's a good guy, too. That's what I like about this story -- you can make a case for this guy. It's not obvious from the beginning that they're morally bankrupt to think in terms of a guy like this. There's nothing wrong with a guy like this.
Josh and Toby are going through the motions with Lang, talking about what questions she'd face from the Judiciary Committee if her nomination weren't fanciful -- which, of course, it is at this point. Toby starts to role-play and ask her a question, and she asks whom he's supposed to be. Josh is like, "Duh, he's a Republican," and she points out that it completely depends on what Republican he is. "If you're Webster," she says, "the question is 'where do you stand on Roe v. Wade,' and the answer is, judicial rulings shouldn't be based on personal ideology -- mine, or anyone else's. If you're Davies, the question is, 'how would you approach a D&X case,' because he's the drum-banger on partial birth, and the answer is, I don't comment on hypotheticals. If you're Maulkin, you're from Virginia, so...you're asking on Drury [which I gather is the parental consent case in which she overturned the state law], I take you point by point from the doctor, to the father, to Casey, to 'undue burden,' to equal protection, back to Roe, at which point you can't remember the question, and I drink my water for a minute while you regroup." She smiles pleasantly, as she so often does. Toby and Josh look at each other. Josh asks to speak to Toby outside, and they get up and leave.
As Toby and Josh close the door behind them, Josh says, "I love her. I love her mind...I love her shoes...." I couldn't tell you why that was the perfectly right thing for Josh to say, but oddly, it was. Toby, on the other hand, is keeping his eye on the ball: "We walk her into five senators' offices, they'll be so scared that they'll beg us to put Shelton on the Court." He looks at Josh, like, "Anything else?" They walk back in and ask about the vetting she's already had by the FBI, and whether anything else would show up. She wonders why, as a "shill," she'd need a background check, and Josh just asks her to play along. She lets on that when she was young, she snuck a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover out of the library; she once received a pot plant for her birthday while in college; and -- oh, right -- in her second year of law school, she had an abortion. Toby and Josh look stunned. She looks around with an uncomfortable smile, and finally says, "Can I get some water while you regroup?"