Mandatory Minimums

Mandatory Minimums
"Mandatory Minimums"
The West Wing episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 20
Directed by Robert Berlinger
Written by Aaron Sorkin
Production code 225919
Original air date May 3 2000
Guest stars
Season 1 episodes
List of The West Wing episodes

"Mandatory Minimums" is the 20th episode of The West Wing.


The President bucks pressure from Republicans in Congress and nominates two advocates for aggressive campaign finance reform to the Federal Election Commission, to Josh Lyman's audible agreement. The President also moves forward with a plan to reverse the 2 to 1 funding ratio for narcotics law enforcement to treatment. Unfavored pollster Al Kiefer returns but quickly finds himself ignored in favor of Joey Lucas, whose presence inspires school-boyish flirting from Josh. C.J. tells Mandy Hampton that she's in the doghouse and will be there for the foreseeable future, due to Mandy's now-public memo which outlines the failings of the Bartlet administration.

C.J. later has a heated argument with reporter Danny Concannon over his uncomplimentary work on the Administration. Leo tells Toby to meet with his ex-wife, Democratic Congresswoman Andrea Wyatt about mandatory minimum sentences for drug possession, and later threatens several staffers of Congressmen whose family members or close friends received preferential treatment when arrested under the tough anti-drug laws they publicly support. Sam's enemies reveal that his relationship with a call girl is known to them. At day's end, the President says they all had a good day and orders that Mandy and Danny be let out of the doghouse.


  • Toby's completion of Sam's phrase "tried to practice on my-" "Credulous simplicity?" is a reference to The Pirates of Penzance by Gilbert and Sullivan, where the Pirate King upon hearing of the Major General's deceit utters "Do you mean to say that to save his contemptible life he dared to practise on our credulous simplicity?"

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