Many retirees are still clocking some post-retirement time in the office, and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is no exception.
“It’s nice to keep your hand in a bit,” O’Connor told The Wall Street Journal, while sitting in the chambers she still keeps at the Supreme Court. That is just one of the many courthouses where the justice may be seen.
Although she hasn’t sat on the bench of the nation’s highest court since retiring in 2006 to care for her ailing husband (she can be spotted in the Supreme courtroom on occasion, though), O’Connor has been filling in for judges on federal courts across the country.
In her substitute judge capacity, O’Connor has heard scores of cases and has written more than a dozen opinions.
O’Connor said that the cases that come before her in the lower courts aren’t always as fascinating as the ones the Supreme Court selected to hear during her time at One First St., NE. “Some fact-bound criminal case is not of special interest to me, I have to confess,” she said. They are “not particularly demanding, intellectually. …Ninety-nine percent of it doesn’t have the intrinsic political or public implications of a typical Supreme Court case.”
Still, she enjoys the work, even when it means applying Supreme Court precedent in cases from which she dissented. “I now have occasion to have to apply some of those [Supreme Court] holdings with which I didn’t agree when they were made, but of course now they’re binding,” she said. “It hasn’t caused me to change my mind on a previous dissent. But that’s water over the dam.”
More here from The WSJ.