WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr., given a new clean bill of health by the Mayo Clinic in June, said Thursday he has no intention of retiring despite rumors that he was in "infirm health" and planned to step down.
Powell, 78, had a cancerous prostate removed in early 1985, an operation that caused him to miss participating in nearly one-third of the court's 1984-85 term. But he missed none of the 1985-86 court decisions.
"All (the Mayo Clinic) tests were negative, meaning there was no evidence of any reoccurrence of the cancer," he said in an interview from his summer office in Richmond, Va.
Powell said he already has begun preparing for the court's next term, adding: "I've got a stack of briefs in my lap right now."