Goffman has been called “ EPA’s Law Whisperer ” because “his specialty is teaching old laws to do new tricks.” As Associate Assistant Administrator for Climate and Senior Counsel in the Office of Air and Radiation at the Environmental Protection Agency from 2009-2017, he was one of the chief architects of the ground-breaking Clean Power Plan. As Majority Counsel to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, he authored Title IV of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, pioneering the use of cap and trade in the program that tackled acid rain.
President Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg to the . Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on April 14, 1980, to the seat of recently deceased judge Harold Leventhal .  She served there for thirteen years until she joined the Supreme Court.  During her time as a judge on the DC Circuit, Ginsburg often found consensus with her colleagues including conservatives Robert H. Bork and Antonin Scalia.   Her time on the court earned her a reputation as a "cautious jurist" and a moderate.  David S. Tatel replaced her after Ginsburg's appointment to the Supreme Court.