Ashland was originally appointed to the Supreme Court as an Associate Judge in 1972, and was elevated to Chief Justice in 1992.
Ashland is a very liberal judge, and known for his extensive debates with conservative Justice Brady. Ashland is quite old by the time the Bartlet Administration comes into office. The White House notices that Ashland is furtively writing parts of his decisions in poetic verse, leaving the administration wondering what might be going on in his mind.
Despite suffering from health problems, Ashland refuses to give up his seat on the court for several years, fearing that President Josiah Bartlet would not be able (for political reasons) to nominate a worthy successor. However, when Evelyn Baker Lang has a good chance of being confirmed as long as another free seat on the court is given to conservative Christopher Mulready, Ashland agrees to step down and pave the way for Lang's nomination.
Notes and references
|Supreme Court Justice
Evelyn Baker Lang