5 Ill-Fated Supreme Court Picks

Cronyism, racism, marijuana have done in earlier nominees
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2010 4:00 AM CDT
Douglas Ginsburg withdrew his name from consideration to avoid embarrassing the Reagan administration when his pot-smoking past emerged.   (Wikimedia)
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(Newser) – Elena Kagan seems likely to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, although critics are comparing her to some of the worst picks of the past. The Week takes a look at some that didn't make it.

  • Harriet Miers, (George W. Bush, 2005). Labeled "My Little Crony" over her close ties to the Bush family, but her "incomplete to insulting" answers to questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee sealed the deal.

  • Douglas Ginsburg, (Ronald Reagan, 1987). Ginsburg withdrew his name after it emerged that he'd smoked pot—with his students at Harvard Law.
  • G. Harrold Carswell, (Richard Nixon, 1970). Inexperienced Carswell—on record defending his "firm, vigorous belief in the principles of white supremacy"—was rejected by the Senate. The GOP's stirring defense? "There are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers," Sen. Roman Hruska argued. "They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they?"
Click here for the full list, including Grover Cleveland's "sex-crazed sexagenarian."

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