WASHINGTON — Secretary of Education William J. Bennett said Monday night that it would be "crazy" to bar people from the Supreme Court or other high public office because they smoked marijuana or committed other indiscretions in their youth.
But Bennett, who telephoned Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg on Friday to ask him to withdraw as President Reagan's Supreme Court nominee, said he believes that college professors must serve as role models for their students.
Bennett, in an interview with the Associated Press, declined to discuss the call he made to Ginsburg.
Ginsburg, 41, withdrew on Saturday, three days after acknowledging that that he had smoked marijuana as a college student and as recently as 1979 while a professor at Harvard Law School.
Bennett has crusaded against drug abuse and has urged college presidents to crack down on drugs on their campuses. He said he does not think someone must be "crystal clean and 99% pure" to aspire to high office.