Although he cited age and declining health when he retired from the U.S. Supreme Court one year ago, Lewis F. Powell Jr. shows little sign of slowing, says one associate.

"His idea of retirement is to stop working at 4 o'clock on Saturday afternoon," said U.S. District Judge Robert R. Merhige Jr., a longtime friend.Powell, who was a Richmond, Va., lawyer when he was tapped for the Supreme Court in 1972, has returned to his hometown and maintains a modest office.