United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
1969 – 1995
Judge George E. MacKinnon received his law degree from the University of Minnesota and was
admitted to the Minnesota bar in 1929. As an undergraduate he lettered in football, basketball and track,
and upon graduation he was awarded the Western Conference Medal for athletic and scholastic
achievement. While in law school, Judge MacKinnon served as an editor on the Minnesota Law Review.
From 1927 to 1932, he also served as Assistant Football Coach at the University of Minnesota.
Prior to his appointment to the federal bench in 1969, Judge MacKinnon practiced law, was
elected and appointed to public office, and served in the military. Highlights from his professional and
public service resume include: Assistant Counsel to Investors Syndicate (IDS) from 1929 to 1942; State
Representative in the Minnesota Legislature from 1934 to 1942; Officer in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to
1946, where he was cited for meritorious service; United States Representative in Congress for the Third
District of Minnesota from 1947 to 1949; United States Attorney for Minnesota from 1953 to 1958;
Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General from 1960 to 1961; and as Chief Counsel and Vice
President for Investors (IDS) Mutual Funds from 1961 to 1969. In addition, he was the Republican
nominee for Governor of Minnesota in 1958.
While on the U.S. Court of Appeals, he also served as Presiding Judge, U.S. Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court of Review (1979-1982); was appointed as U.S. Delegate to the Seventh United
Nations’ Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (Milan, Italy, 1985); was
designated by the Chief Justice as Presiding Judge, Special Division of the U.S. Court of Appeals for
Appointment of Independent Counsels (1985-1992); and was appointed by President Reagan as Judge
Member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission (1985-1991). In 1993, Judge MacKinnon assumed senior
status, serving as a Senior Circuit Judge until his death on May 1, 1995.