The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Supreme Court

Court Watch: Accident-Prone Justices

By Garance Franke-Ruta
Now that Judge Sonia Sotomayor has broken her ankle, the "Sotomayor Stumbles" headlines and blog items seem inevitable. But like so much in the court system, Sotomayor's accident comes with a set of precedents. She's not the first justice to break a bone on the way to the Supreme Court.

Reported the New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin in 2005: "In 1993, when Breyer was a federal appeals-court judge in Boston, he had what is certainly the most famous bicycle accident in Supreme Court history. A few days before an interview with President Clinton for the vacancy on the Court created by Byron White's resignation, Breyer crashed while trying to avoid a pedestrian near his home in Cambridge, breaking a rib and puncturing a lung. He was in pain during the meeting with the President, and it didn't go well. Breyer was appointed the following year, after Harry Blackmun retired."

Justice Clarence Thomas had his troubles, too, though his came during his second year on the Court (also 1993). That's when he tore his Achilles tendon while playing a game of basketball at the "highest court in the land," as the Supreme's basketball court is affectionately known.

Posted at 4:15 PM ET on Jun 8, 2009  | Category:  Supreme Court
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Folks, some of you are getting moer & more silly by the hour.
Every one slips & falls every now & then. From age 0 to age 99+
So, what's your problem?
Please find things substantial to gripe upon.

Posted by: olafaux | June 9, 2009 10:33 AM

If I were writing a political spy novel, I'd posit that the controversial nominee was induced to stumble by a silent, pulsed burst from a microwave radiation "directed energy weapon" of the type carried by her security detail...

...and the naive mainstream media would never catch on to such nefarious Donald Segretti-esque dirty tricks.

But those things only happen in political spy novels; so, no worries, sheeple.

(And how did that "pedestrian" happen to step into Breyer's path back in '93?)

Posted by: scrivener50 | June 9, 2009 10:09 AM

Warren Burger also had a nasty bike accident back in the '70s. I think he even missed some time on the court because of it.

Posted by: am94891 | June 8, 2009 8:47 PM

How are the Dem's going to pin this one on the Republicans? I'm sure it had its roots in the last eight years :-P

Posted by: RUListening2Urself | June 8, 2009 5:59 PM

I saw a picture of Sonja Sotomayer and I hope she keeps her leg up to speed healing. If she doesn't,she may find herself having to spend the summer in bed. It's a bummer she has to deal with this now. Hope she heals quickly.

Posted by: commoner3 | June 8, 2009 5:42 PM

Should elected judges recuse themselves in cases where one party in the case has contributed to the Judge's campaign?


Posted by: usadblake | June 8, 2009 5:22 PM

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