Judge Douglas Ginsburg

On this date in 1987, Judge Douglas Ginsburg was nominated by President Ronald Reagan as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. The position he was nominated for was that of Justice Lewis Powell, who was retiring. Judge Ginsburg was not President Reagan’s first choice as his nomination would come on the heels of the failed nomination of Judge Robert Bork (see October 23, 2013 entry). Ironically, it would not be President Reagan’s last nomination for the post. Soon after his nomination, Judge Ginsburg’s past use of marijuana became a controversy and Judge Ginsburg asked to have his nomination withdrawn after only a few days.

Born in 1946 and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Judge Ginsburg graduated from the University of Chicago Law School where he served on the law review. Afterr law school, he clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall (1974-75). He then taught law at Harvard and Columbia and served later served as a Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General before taking the bench in 1986 as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. After his failed Supreme Court nomination in 1987, Judge Ginsburg continued to served of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and, in fact, held the position as Chief Judge from 2001-2008. Judge Ginsburg took senior status on October 14, 2011. Since that time he has taught law at New York University Law School and George Mason University.