[JURIST] Former US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor [OYEZ profile; JURIST news archive] will be one of three justices on a panel hearing cases next week for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website]. Under federal law [28 US Code § 294], current or former federal judges can decide cases for any equal or lower federal court by special appointment. O'Connor is scheduled to hear five cases while serving on the appeals court.
The appointment comes as no great surprise. O'Connor has thusfar been very active in her retirement, which was effective in January. She has spoken out several times against judicial intimidation [JURIST report] in the course of championing judicial independence in speeches and op-eds. She is also following in the footsteps of other retired Supreme Court justices who later sat on other courts for a time after leaving the national bench; Thurgood Marshall sat on the Second Circuit for a week in 1992, and after his retirement in 1957 Stanley F. Reed [OYEZ profile] - the last Supreme Court justice not to have a formal law degree - often sat on the US Court of Claims. AP has more.