Supreme Court Justices Who Hadn’t Been Judges

People are remarking that Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who has been much talked about as a possible Supreme Court nominee, would be the first Supreme Court Justice since Chief Justice Rehnquist to be appointed without having earlier served as a judge. But it’s worth remembering that Rehnquist himself wasn’t an outlier: Of the eight Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon appointees, a majority — White, Goldberg, Fortas, Powell, and Rehnquist — hadn’t served as judges. (The ones who had served as judges were Marshall, Burger, and Blackmun.)

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