Sylvia Bacon

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Sylvia Bacon
Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
In office
Appointed byRichard Nixon
Preceded by???
Succeeded byReggie Walton[1]
Personal details
Born (1931-07-09) July 9, 1931 (age 88)
Watertown, South Dakota, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationVassar College (BA)
London School of Economics (GrCert)
Harvard University (LLB)
Georgetown University (LLM)

Sylvia A. Bacon (July 9, 1931 – ) is a former judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia who was considered by both Richard Nixon[2] and Ronald Reagan[3][4][5] as a potential nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States, at a time when no women had yet been appointed to the Court.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Watertown, South Dakota, Bacon graduated Watertown High School[6] in 1949 and received a B.A. in Economics from Vassar College after three years (1952), a Graduate Certificate in Economics from the London School of Economics through a Rotary Fellowship (1953), an LL.B. from Harvard Law School (1956), and an LL.M. from the Georgetown University Law Center (1959). While at Vassar, she was an officer in the National Student Association.[6] From 1956 to 1957, she was a judicial law clerk to District Court judge Burnita Shelton Matthews.[6]


She worked in various positions within the United States Department of Justice from 1956 to 1970,[6] during which time she "helped draft the District of Columbia's controversial no-knock crime bill",[7] and "served under Ramsey Clark and helped draft legislation for court reform in the District of Columbia."[7] She was appointed to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in 1970, serving until 1991.[6] She was considered to be a nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States by both Presidents Reagan and Nixon.

As of June 2010, Bacon was a "distinguished lecturer" on the faculty of the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Report of District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission
  2. ^ John Dean, "Cast of Characters: Candidates considered for the Supreme Court", The Rehnquist Choice: The Untold Story of the Nixon Appointment That Redefined the Supreme Court (Free Press, 2001), p. xiii-xiv. ISBN 978-0-7432-2979-1.
  3. ^ Elizabeth Olson, "Reagan may have strong hand over high court", United Press International (November 9, 1980).
  4. ^ Biskupic, Joan. Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice. Ecco Press. pp. 75–76. ISBN 978-0-06-059018-5.
  5. ^ Judicial Selection Letter to Ken Starr, et al. September 24, 1981
  6. ^ a b c d e Eugene G. Schwartz, Ed., American Students Organize: Founding the National Student Association After World War II (2006), Page 476.
  7. ^ a b "The Nation: Nixon's Not So Supreme Court", Time Magazine (Monday, October 25, 1971).
  8. ^ Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law page on Sylvia Bacon Archived 2010-06-14 at the Wayback Machine.