WASHINGTON -- Like most teachers, Supreme Court justices take a long summer vacation. And some justices, like some teachers, earn a little extra cash by teaching summer school.
As usual, the court finished this year's term by July and won't begin to hear cases again until October. The break allows for trips outside the capital and for busman's holidays spent lecturing law students in Italy or the Greek coast.
American law schools sponsor the programs, which typically offer salaries, as well as travel, hotel and food expenses. Schools consider it a coup to land a Supreme Court lecturer, who gets headline billing and helps attract paying students.
Louis Del Duca, who directs overseas summer programs at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law, said justices and students benefit from the experience.
"It's the difference between learning from a printed text and having one mind exposed to another mind on the spot," said Del Duca, whose school has been host to about a half-dozen justices in recent summers. "There's no substitute for that."
Only Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg provided details of their teaching plans in response to a request from The Associated Press. Other justices did not teach this summer or did not respond. Representatives of three schools said they planned to pay salaries to justices this year but provided no details.
Some details of the teaching arrangements appear on the annual financial disclosure forms the justices file each spring. Justices must disclose salaries but not what sponsors pay to put them up.
In the past, some justices have declined offered salaries. Others have taken the maximum allowed -- 15 percent of their federal salary
At Dickinson's invitation, Rehnquist lectured in Strasbourg, France, this summer on the Supreme Court in American history. He collected $12,500 for teaching at the same forum last year.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy reprised a course called "Fundamental Rights in Europe and the United States" in Salzburg, Austria, sponsored by the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law. He was paid $16,500 for the seminar last year.
Ginsburg is back from teaching in Siena, Italy, organized by Tulane University, and Justice Antonin Scalia taught constitutional law at St. Mary's University Institute on World Legal Problems at Innsbruck, Austria.
Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Stephen Breyer and John Paul Stevens have taught similar European sessions in past years.
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