WASHINGTON — Summertime means Salzburg and some extra coin for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
After ending their 2006-2007 term with a jurisprudential bang one week ago, Kennedy and his eight court colleagues have hit the road. Some are simply relaxing. Many are moonlighting as teachers, an intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding alternative to the lounge chair.
Happily for the justices, their summertime classrooms tend to be near mountains or beaches.
On Monday, for instance, Kennedy began his customary teaching gig in Salzburg, Austria, for the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law. He has taught overseas every summer since 1989.
"He's stunningly good," McGeorge Dean Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker said. "I had wondered whether we were just having him for his star power, but he really is a very, very talented teacher."
Federal ethics rules permit judges to earn outside income amounting to 15 percent of their government salaries. The eight associate justices were each paid $203,000 last year; Chief Justice John G. Roberts was paid $212,000. This means an associate justice could earn up to about $30,450 in outside income, with approval from the Judicial Conference of the United States.
Kennedy reported being paid $24,500 by McGeorge last year, a comfortable sum for three weeks in the Austrian Alps but also consistent with the going classroom rate for a Supreme Court justice.
Roberts, for instance, reported that he's being paid $15,000 to teach a one-week, one-credit course in Vienna through the Dickinson School of Law, part of Pennsylvania State University.
Justice Samuel Alito is heading to Pepperdine University's Malibu campus for two weeks, to teach a class on the Constitution and war powers, while Justice Antonin Scalia will be doing a one-day course at Pepperdine's London program.
"These are obviously people who are giants in the legal profession, and exposing our students to their brilliance, knowledge and experience is, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said Shelley Saxer, Pepperdine's associate dean.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be in the popular tourist town of Sorrento, Italy, overlooking the Bay of Naples while teaching a class through Hofstra University Law School.
Neither Alito nor Ginsburg have yet disclosed their summertime pay. In 2004, though, Hofstra paid Ginsburg $8,500 for a summertime lecture series in France. Frequently, Ginsburg donates the money she is paid for teaching to operas, theater groups and other charities.
It isn't only the Supreme Court that provides moonlighting judges. At least half a dozen members of the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals earned outside income from teaching or guest lectures in 2005, financial disclosure statements show.
Judge Mary McKeown, for instance, was paid $24,000 in 2005 for teaching at the University of San Diego, while the 9th Circuit's chief judge, Mary Schroeder, earned $2,000 for a class at Arizona State University's law school, where her husband, Milton, is a full-time professor.
Usually, judges see no conflict in their part-time teaching work. Alito and Scalia, for instance, will be doing their Pepperdine work several months after the school's dean, Kenneth Starr, appeared before them as an attorney in a free-speech case. On rare occasions, though, the teaching jobs cause the justices to think twice.
In the early 1990s, for instance, Scalia taught a class in Italy for Tulane University Law School. As noted in a recent Legal Times article, Scalia subsequently had to recuse himself from a case involving Tulane animal research.
Even before he joined the Supreme Court in 1988, Kennedy taught on the side at McGeorge. He began as an adjunct teacher in the school's evening division in 1965, and he kept it up after being named to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1975.
Kennedy has about 100 students in his three-week summer class, this year titled "Fundamental Rights in Europe and the United States." The students come from Europe and the United States.
"It probably takes a day or two for them to open up, but soon they view him the same as any other law professor," said Eric McElwain, a law professor who coordinates McGeorge's overseas program. "Interestingly, it takes more time for the European students in the class to be willing to participate, because they are used to classes where the teacher speaks and they listen."