Supreme Court Justices Deny Spat on Gorsuch Wearing a Face Mask

Robert Barnes, reporting for The Washington Post:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in a statement Wednesday that she did not ask Justice Neil M. Gorsuch to wear a mask on Supreme Court bench, and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. followed up by saying he did not make such a request of their other colleagues either.

The rare statements from the justices seemed aimed at knocking down reporting that Sotomayor, who has health reasons to be especially worried about contracting Covid-19, was participating remotely in oral arguments because Gorsuch was not wearing a mask.

The statements did not directly address that, but did refute some elements of an NPR report that raised the issue.

“Reporting that Justice Sotomayor asked Justice Gorsuch to wear a mask surprised us. It is false. While we may sometimes disagree about the law, we are warm colleagues and friends,” said a joint statement from Sotomayor, one of the court’s most liberal members, and Gorsuch, one of its most conservative.

Unusual, to say the least, to directly contradict the reporting of a writer as established as Nina Totenberg at NPR.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022