One could argue that justices of the United States Supreme Court are underpaid. After all, their former law clerks get wooed with $300,000 signing bonuses upon leaving One First Street, which is more than what the justices earn in a year (as just noted by The Economist).
Despite being arguably underpaid, the justices still like to shop. In recent weeks, we’ve seen Justice Sotomayor checking out olive oil in Annapolis and Justice Kagan hitting the Apple store in Georgetown.
The court’s first woman member, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, has more time on her hands since retiring. Through an organization she founded called iCivics, she’s advocating for improved education about civics, a cause that’s near and dear to her heart.
Even though she’s supposedly “retired,” the super-energetic Justice O’Connor remains exceedingly busy, occupied by iCivics work, sitting by designation in circuit courts, and promoting her new book (affiliate link). But she still has some free time — including time to go to the grocery.
Let’s hear from a tipster, plus see some photos….
The sighting took place yesterday. Our source reports:
SPOTTED: Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, shopping at Glen’s Garden Market, an all-local grocery and cafe in Washington, DC’s Dupont Circle founded by former Justice Department and Senate lawyer Danielle Vogel.
O’Connor, who sampled the Cajun egg salad and ordered a beef empanada to go, was in town for her work with iCivics, a non-profit that produces educational video games and other programs to teach young people about American government. O’Connor founded the group in 2009 and it’s headquartered in the same building as Glen’s.
You can learn more about iCivics on its website or its Twitter feed. Back in 2009, Kashmir Hill and I wrote a Washington Post piece about the educational video games that Justice O’Connor and her team at iCivics have developed to teach kids about the justice system.
Justice O’Connor has been sighted pumping her own gasoline. So perhaps it’s not surprising to see her picking up her own lunch, instead of having it brought to her by a minion (read: clerk).
For the record, Justice O’Connor was accompanied by her current clerk, Julia Malkina. In case you’re wondering what retired justices’ clerks do, they (1) get farmed out to active justices, where they work alongside the other clerks on pending cases; (2) assist their retired bosses with any cases the justices hear by designation on the lower courts; and (3) help out with other random projects, like speeches, books, and picking out lunch.
Speaking of picking out lunch, let’s see the photos of Justice O’Connor engaging in this activity….