Robert Andrew Ainsworth, Jr. was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to serve as a judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana in 1961, and he held that position until August 31, 1966. On June 28, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson nominated Judge Ainsworth to a fill a new seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that was created by 90 Stat. 75. Judge Ainsworth held that seat until his death on December 22, 1981.
Judge Ainsworth was born in 1910 in Gulfport, Mississippi. He received an LL.B. from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law in 1932, and was in private practice in New Orleans, Louisiana from 1932 to 1961. In 1944, he served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy during World War II. He was a member of the Louisiana State Senate from 1952 to 1961, serving as President pro tem from 1952 to 1956, and from 1960 to 1961.
His alma mater hosts the annual “Judge Robert A. Ainsworth, Jr. Memorial Lecture Series.” On February 4, 2002, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, participated in the event. She noted in her speech that “Judge Ainsworth merits a place in history first as a state senator who resisted blatant segregationist bills, then as a wise and good judge whose moderate, consistent, and forward-looking views helped to keep the Fifth Circuit steady during the tumultuous 1960s. It is altogether fitting that his friends and colleagues have chosen to remember him by founding and maintaining this Ainsworth Memorial Lecture Series here at his alma mater.”
© United States District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana