Justice Souter Still Polite, and Still Hearing Cases

Justice David H. Souter is retired from the Supreme Court, but he’s still hearing cases.

Souter hears arguments one or two days a month for the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Associated Press reports. According to the wire service, his “demeanor is the same—polite, formal and sharp.”

Harvard law professor Mark Tushnet told AP that Souter may enjoy the differences in the work at the appeals level. “What you are doing on the court of appeals is making decisions that have a significant effect on the daily lives of individuals who are in front of you, on a case-by-case basis, whereas with the Supreme Court you’re making decisions that affect a lot of people, but they are not the ones in front of you, you don’t see them,” Tushnet said.

In his spare time, Souter is settling into a new home and organizing his large collection of books, the story says. He is also working on a New Hampshire task force to improve civic education.

This afternoon he is speaking at Harvard University’s commencement. He graduated from Harvard College in 1961 and received a degree from the law school in 1966, according to a different Associated Press story.

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