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Thursday, March 25, 2010

At 89, Supreme Court Justice Still Plays Tennis

People often make fun of the fact that Supreme Court Justices are generally older (although, to be fair, Justice Alito is still a baby at 59). But if you've ever had the good fortune of seeing the Court in action, you know that they're an extremely competent bunch, regardless of age.

The New Yorker magazine recently profiled Justice John Paul Stevens, who will celebrate his 90th birthday in April. Although he is the oldest member of the Court--President Ford nominated him in 1975--he remains extremely active, playing tennis several times a week. He credits his wife's guidance about nutrition (she happens to be a dietitian!) for his longevity.

One Washington lawyer describes the state of Justice Stevens' tennis game:
Last December [the Justice] had lunch with Peter Isakoff, a Washington lawyer who was one of his early Supreme Court law clerks. "He had just played tennis that morning--singles!--and I was just kind of amazed," Isakoff recalled. "And so I asked him, 'Do you still run?' And he looked at me and said, 'Well, how else are you going to get to the ball?'
If the Supreme Court were to start its own wellness program, Justice Stevens would make an excellent champion...but we'd have to hurry. He does plan to retire.

In the next three years or so.

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