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Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will wear the black robe again this week when she joins a federal appellate court panel in Manhattan to hear arguments on five cases. O’Connor, a moderate appointed to the Supreme Court by President Reagan, will sit Wednesday on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said Circuit Executive Karen Milton. Senior Judge John M. Walker Jr., who stepped down Sunday as the circuit’s chief judge, invited O’Connor to sit on the panel, Milton said. Forty percent of the judges assigned to 2nd Circuit panels are visiting judges. O’Connor, the nation’s first female justice, will sit on a three-judge panel beside Walker and the new chief judge, Dennis Jacobs, Milton said. They will consider five cases, including one criminal, one bankruptcy and three civil in nature. It is not unusual for a former justice to sit on an appeals panel, Jacobs said. The late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall sat for a week on a 2nd Circuit panel in 1992 after retiring from the high court a year earlier. The late Justice Byron R. White heard cases after he retired from the Supreme Court in 1993. O’Connor retired from the Supreme Court in January after more than 24 years on the bench, where she was an influential swing voter. Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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