Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a far-left justice of the Supreme Court is working remotely rather than appearing in person at U.S. Supreme Court because Neil Gorsuch refused to wear a mask when in court.
This report came on Tuesday from National Public Radio.
The normally docile Supreme Court has recently seen a series of fissures between liberal and conservative justices — and among the conservative justices themselves. https://t.co/KsGtDi8ngW
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) January 18, 2022
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Gorsuch Is Refusing To Wear Mask
“It was pretty jarring earlier this month when the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court took the bench for the first time since the omicron surge over the holidays,” NPR reported. “All were now wearing masks.”
There is one exception.
“All, that is, except Justice Neil Gorsuch,” NPR noted. “What’s more, Justice Sonia Sotomayor was not there at all, choosing instead to participate through a microphone setup in her chambers.”
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The report mentioned Sotomayor’s particular health situation.
“Sotomayor has diabetes, a condition that puts her at high risk for serious illness, or even death, from COVID-19,” the report observed. “She has been the only justice to wear a mask on the bench since last fall when, amid a marked decline in COVID-19 cases, the justices resumed in-person arguments for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.”
Nina Totenberg reports that (1) the Chief Justice asked his colleagues to mask up out of respect for Sotomayor’s health concerns, (2) only Gorsuch refused, and (3) his refusal forced Sotomayor to participate in arguments and conference remotely. https://t.co/DmsQV8j7Wz pic.twitter.com/7JG5hMN0q7
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) January 18, 2022
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NPR: ‘Sotomayor did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked’
Sotomayor seems to be at unique risk in the presence of unmasked individuals, both because of her own health and her proximity to Gorsuch.
NPR continued, “Now, though, the situation had changed with the omicron surge, and according to court sources, Sotomayor did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked. Chief Justice John Roberts was aware of this, and requested that the other justices mask themselves.
“They all did. Except Gorsuch, who, as it happens, sits next to Sotomayor on the bench.”
Gorsuch’s decision not to wear a mask has meant that Sotomayor has been joining the court remotely by phone.