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Misty water-colored memories


Brett Kavanaugh is up for Anthony Kennedy’s SCOTUS SEAT seat. But Kennedy wasn’t the original nominee for the spot: a guy named Robert Bork was. Everybody remembers that one of course.

But what people tend not to remember is what happened next.  On October 29, 1987, just six days after Bork’s nomination was voted down by the full Senate, Ronald Reagan nominated DC Circuit judge Douglas Ginsburg.  His nomination survived for exactly nine days.

Ginsburg’s unforgivable crime, that caused the entire Republican establishment to instantly turn on him when it was revealed, was that he had smoked marijuana on “a few occasions” as a college student in the 1960s, and as an assistant professor at Harvard Law School in the early 1970s.

And that was it.

Now it’s true that marijuana use was illegal at the time.  It was also absolutely commonplace among young people in Ginsburg’s social circles.

In other words it was exactly like underage drinking, except with a lot less raping and looting. (No one ever accused Ginsburg of actually doing anything inappropriate while under the influence).

Marijuana, like any other psychoactive substance is not harmless. Yet is a lot less dangerous than alcohol by just about every measure. I drink alcohol regularly and am the furthest thing from a prohibitionist, but the sheer hypocrisy on this issue was and remains astounding.

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