- The Washington Times - Monday, August 26, 2002

Like most teachers, Supreme Court justices take a long summer vacation. And some justices, like some teachers, earn a little extra cash by teaching summer school.
As usual, the court finished this year's term by July and won't begin to hear cases again until October. The break allows for trips outside the capital and for busman's holidays spent lecturing law students in Italy or on the Greek coast.
American law schools sponsor the programs, which typically offer salaries as well as travel, hotel and food expenses. Schools consider it a coup to land a Supreme Court lecturer, who gets headline billing and helps attract paying students.
Louis Del Duca, who directs overseas summer programs at Pennsylvania State University's Dickinson School of Law, said justices and students benefit from the experience.
"It's the difference between learning from a printed text and having one mind exposed to another mind on the spot," said Mr. Del Duca, whose school has been host to about a half-dozen justices in recent summers. "There's no substitute for that."
Only Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg provided details of their teaching plans in response to a request from the Associated Press. Other justices did not teach this summer or did not respond. Representatives of three schools said they planned to pay salaries to justices this year but provided no details.
Some details of the teaching arrangements appear on the annual financial disclosure forms the justices file each spring. Justices must disclose salaries but not which sponsors pay to put them up.
In the past, some justices have declined offered salaries. Others have taken the maximum allowed: 15 percent of their federal salary.
At Dickinson's invitation, Justice Rehnquist lectured in Strasbourg, France, this summer on the Supreme Court in American history. He collected $12,500 for teaching at the same forum last year.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy reprised a course called Fundamental Rights in Europe and the United States in Salzburg, Austria, sponsored by the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law. He was paid $16,500 for the seminar last year.
Justice Ginsburg is back from teaching in Siena, Italy, which was organized by Tulane University, and Justice Antonin Scalia taught constitutional law at St. Mary's University Institute on World Legal Problems at Innsbruck, Austria.
Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Stephen G. Breyer and John Paul Stevens have taught similar European sessions in past years.
An ethical debate surrounds judicial seminars sponsored by law schools with corporate or other outside underwriting. Federal judges hear lectures that frequently have pro-business themes while being wined and dined for a few days.
Unlike those sessions, paid teaching stints raise no serious conflict of interest issues for the justices, legal-ethics specialists said. Sponsoring law schools are unlikely to be the subjects of future court cases, and the justices stick to teaching basic subjects, law professors said.
Still, the justices and some of the schools that hire them are reluctant to discuss salary arrangements, which come on top of the justices' regular government salaries of $192,600 for Chief Justice Rehnquist and $184,400 for his eight junior colleagues.
"We live in a society where people have to live with not just the reality but the appearance of impropriety," said Vikram David Amar, law professor at the University of California, Hastings.

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