U.S. Supreme Court
Former Child Actor, Now Blind, Will Begin Stint as O’Connor Law Clerk
Posted May 27, 2008 9:35 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A former child actor who played the nerdy Weasel on the TV show Saved By the Bell: The New Class will become a U.S. Supreme Court clerk this July for retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Actor-turned-lawyer Isaac Lidsky will be the first blind clerk at the Supreme Court, Legal Times reports. He will work on O’Connor’s cases that she hears sitting by designation on federal appeals courts, and he will be assigned to another justice for case screening and opinion drafting.
Lidsky suffers from the degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa. Judge David Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, who has the same disease, has counseled Lidsky on how to accommodate his disability so he can handle reading-intensive legal work. “Judge Tatel is beyond inspirational to me,” Lidsky told Legal Times.
Lidsky is an associate at Jones Day and is founder of the Hope for Vision foundation, which aims to raise awareness of blinding eye diseases and promote research into cures.
He uses optical character recognition software which reads aloud scanned pages to him. “I can listen to things as fast as people can read them,” he says. “I can do the functional equivalent of skimming.”