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U.S. Supreme Court

Retired Justice O’Connor played a role in Arizona case to be argued Monday

Posted Mar 13, 2013 6:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is still hearing cases in federal appeals courts, a fact highlighted in a Supreme Court case to be heard Monday.

The court will consider the validity of an Arizona measure requiring applicants for voter registration in the state to provide evidence of U.S. citizenship. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had struck down the voter-approved ballot referendum.

O’Connor was part of an initial panel majority that found the citizenship requirement conflicted with federal law, the Washington Post reports. The en banc 9th Circuit affirmed the decision.

The case is Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona.

A law passed in 1937 allowed Supreme Court justices to take senior status and serve on lower federal courts, the Post says. A study by Brooklyn Law School professor Minor Myers III found that 11 out of 25 justices who took senior status since the law passed have served on lower federal courts.

Retired Justice David H. Souter “is a regular” on the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the story says, while retired Justice John Paul Stevens is no longer hearing cases.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Arizona’s Citizenship Requirement for Federal Voting to Be Reviewed by Supreme Court"

ABA Journal: "Justices will probe Arizona’s voter registration law"

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