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Informal Exchange With Reporters on the Supreme Court Nomination of Douglas H. Ginsburg

November 6, 1987

Q. Mr. President, are you going to withdraw the nomination of Judge Ginsburg?

The President. I am not. I accept his statement. I believe that that's enough said.

Q. Do you think he should have ``Just said no?'' [Laughter]

Q. Mr. President, why aren't you more concerned about a Supreme Court nominee's use of marijuana?

The President. Because I'm old enough to have seen that era in which his generation and the generations earlier than that -- how it was taken and all. And how many of us would like to have everything we did when we were younger put on the book

Q. Got a confession?

The President. What?

Q. Have you got a confession to make? [Laughter]

The President. Only if you will all agree that you have confessions. [Laughter]

Q. We're not running for anything. And we decided that you have to be 7 years old and aspire to government office. [Laughter] Are you really satisfied with the nomination?

The President. Yes, and I'm satisfied with his statement. He was not an addict, and he was nothing of that kind, and -- few experimentations -- I'm sure there were a great many people who did that -- that particular period.

Q. You're not concerned about the message it sends to the Nation's young people?

The President. Well, I think the message it sends is that he says he regrets and shouldn't have done it. I think it's a helpful message.

Q. Do you think he can survive? Can he survive, Mr. President?

The President. If there's any justice in Washington, he can.

Q. Do you think there's no conflict with your calling him a law and order candidate, sir?

The President. No, converts are sometimes the most devoted.

Note: The exchange began at 9:17 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. The questions referred to Mr. Ginsburg's past use of marijuana.