Ten justices with hobbies

John O'Brien Jul. 23, 2010, 7:00am

It's summer. Even though the days are longer, employers will tell you the work days can get shorter. Legal Newsline takes a look at 10 state supreme court justices who aren't all work and no play.

When West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Brent Benjamin isn't digging through briefs, he's digging through the ground. Benjamin is a member of the Hocking College Archaeological Mission and has participated in excavations in Egypt, including one in the Valley of the Kings.

Ohio Supreme Court Justice Paul Pfeifer owns a farm just down the road from the one he grew up on in Bucyrus. When not in Columbus, he raises Black Angus cattle with help from his grandchildren. He even raised hogs to pay for college.

Pfeifer's colleague on the Ohio court, Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, was born in Bangkok and still enjoys cooking Thai food. In addition to her culinary interest, she paints and fly fishes. According to her bio, "surely her most interesting accomplishment was her first-place finish in a college Stampede Girls Goat Tying Competition - a talent she later put to good use as a trial lawyer."

Nevada Supreme Court Justice Kristina Pickering obviously doesn't mind the heat, having ran full and half marathons in Las Vegas. She owns a small ranch and still runs, sometimes followed by her border collies.

It's fair to say Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson has seen a lot of what his state has to offer. He biked across it three times as part of The Ride Across Minnesota, a fundraiser targeting Multiple Sclerosis. He also lists gourmet cooking and tennis as his hobbies.

New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Richard Bosson apparently can't get enough of hearing arguments. In his down time, he's a high school soccer referee.

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will Scott takes advantage of the natural beauty of his state. His bio says he is an avid hunter and fisherman. He spoke at the 137th NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in 2008 during a firearms law seminar.

Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham has his own woodworking shop, making objects like toys and music boxes with his two sons. In an edition of the Georgia Bar Journal, Benham said he built birdhouses for Habitat for Humanity.

Legal Newsline salutes Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Joseph Watt for his honesty. We scoured nearly every state supreme court justice's bio, and only Watt was brave enough to admit his affection for golf.

A lot of supreme court justices author papers, articles and books on legal issues. Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham, though, puts his focus on the civil rights struggle in his state since the Civil War. He has written six books, including "A Distant Light: Kentucky's Journey Towards Racial Justice."

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