Aerobics Class Founded By Sandra Day O'Connor Leaves Supreme Court The exercise class founded 35 years ago by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is vacating its spot above the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Aerobics Class Founded By Sandra Day O'Connor Leaves Supreme Court

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Aerobics Class Founded By Sandra Day O'Connor Leaves Supreme Court

Aerobics Class Founded By Sandra Day O'Connor Leaves Supreme Court

Aerobics Class Founded By Sandra Day O'Connor Leaves Supreme Court

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/519703320/519703321" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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The exercise class founded 35 years ago by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is vacating its spot above the U.S. Supreme Court.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's exercise class is vacating its home of 35 years, the basketball court right above the court room at the U.S. Supreme Court. O'Connor organized the class on her third day on the bench. She discussed it with some of her fellow justices in 2012.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR: That meant a lot to me to have that class. I - that just really mattered.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

For years, she tried to recruit other justices. Stephen Breyer tried it once, but he didn't like being the only man. For Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it was too early in the morning.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RUTH BADER GINSBURG: But it's at 8 o'clock in the morning.

(LAUGHTER)

GINSBURG: Everyone knows I'm a night person.

(LAUGHTER)

SIEGEL: O'Connor asked Elena Kagan to join when Kagan was still clerking for Justice Thurgood Marshall. She preferred basketball.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ELENA KAGAN: One day I tore something in my leg playing basketball. The day after this happened, I was on crutches. I was walking down the hallway.

SIEGEL: And Justice O'Connor was walking the other way.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KAGAN: And she sadly shook her head. And she said, it wouldn't have happened in exercise class.

(LAUGHTER)

O'CONNOR: And I'm sure that's true.

(LAUGHTER)

SHAPIRO: The class was originally intended for women who work at the court. But word got out, and eventually the class became popular with local senior citizens. Justice O'Connor hasn't been in a while, so the court decided it was time for the class to move elsewhere. Seventy-six-year-old Muriel Martin-Wein says the class was a highlight of her week.

MURIEL MARTIN-WEIN: We can do the plank for a minute. Most of the ladies lift 8-pound weights. I do five (laughter).

SHAPIRO: She says she'll always remember how special it was to exercise with a Supreme Court justice.

MARTIN-WEIN: I mean, words can't express how wonderful (laughter) it was and so good for us. I would be a weak nothing without that class.

SIEGEL: The class Sandra Day O'Connor started isn't done for good. It will continue in new digs at a nearby church.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PHYSICAL - LIVE")

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN: (Singing) Let's get physical, physical. I want to get physical. Let's get physical.

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