Former State Supreme Court Justice Faith Ireland Throws Off Robes, Picks Up Barbells

Ireland Awards.jpg
The ruling is in -- Ireland wins
As many people have observed, there are indeed second acts in American life. Ruthless capitalists become philanthropists. Congress members leave office and return to the Capitol as lobbyists. TV broadcasters turn into Republican non-partisan politicians. But here's something you don't often see: a respected judge throwing off her robes and becoming a...powerlifter.

That's just what former state Supreme Court Justice Faith Ireland has done. We've got pictures, courtesy of a new book Ireland is featured in, called Second Wind: Rise of the Ageless Athlete, by Lee Bergquist. One shows the 67-year-old retiree, blond hair cropped short, in a short, stretchy, black jumpsuit lifting an enormous barbell, the strain evident in her face and leg muscles. The other (above) shows her with a big trophy in hand.

That's because Ireland is good--very good. At a meet-up of the World Association of Bencher Presses and Deadlifters in Reno on October 28, she set one world record in her age and weight category (with a bench press of 150.9 pounds) and came in first in the deadlifting competition (heaving 275 pounds from a bent but standing position).

No wonder she felt like she had the, um, strength to take on the Republican establishment with a lawsuit against the powerful Building Industry Association of Washington challenging its participation in Dino Rossi's fundraising during his 2008 run for governor. (The case is still ongoing.)

Will other aging jurists follow suit? Could the seemingly indefatigable Judge Betty Fletcher, the 86-year-old liberal lion of the Ninth Circuit, leave the bench for bench presses? Now there's a picture we'd like to see.

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