WASHINGTON -- Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was the Supreme Court's most frequent flier in 2004, taking 28 paid trips to England, Austria, and other places, financial reports indicate.
The annual disclosures yesterday painted a picture of a well-heeled group on the nation's highest court, with at least six of the nine justices holding more than $1 million in assets: O'Connor, Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia, David H. Souter, and John Paul Stevens.
None of the justices reported receiving gifts, although three of them -- Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Anthony Kennedy -- received more than $20,000 in side money for limited teaching duty at law schools. Two others, O'Connor and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, picked up thousands more in book royalties.
O'Connor, an advocate of consulting international law for Supreme Court decisions, topped the group in travel to attend lectures, meet with students, or receive awards.
Most of the trips were to domestic sites, including the University of Wyoming and the Aspen Institute, but there were also appearances at conferences in Burgundy, France (speech); The Hague (Iraqi Judicial Conference); Ottawa (meetings with Canada's Supreme Court justices); and Austria (lectures).
O'Connor, who has written two books in the past three years, reported $12,500 in book royalties.
Scalia, a fierce critic of relying on international law for US cases, was the second-most well-traveled, logging 15 trips last year. Many were to foreign locales -- including Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Greece -- as part of law school seminars.
From those trips, Scalia also received $21,500 in teaching fees, along with compensation for food, travel, and lodging. He also participated in a ''Marine Corps Mess Night" at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The disclosure did not specify what the event involved.
Kennedy, who went on 11 paid trips, earned $23,000 in teaching fees, of which $20,000 came from the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, where he is an adjunct professor. Thomas accepted more than $23,000 in fees from five days of teaching at Hillsdale College and three days at the University of Kansas.
Rehnquist, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last fall, received about $55,000 for his book on the disputed presidential election of 1876, published last year.
The financial holdings that justices report include gifts and earnings, as well as some details of travel reimbursements.