News and Commentary

JUST IN: Justice Roberts Officially Blows Up NPR Mask Report With His Own Statement

   DailyWire.com
Chief Justice John Roberts sits during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 23, 2021.
ERIN SCHAFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

NPR took yet another hit from the Supreme Court on Wednesday when Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that he never asked Justice Neil Gorsuch, “or any other justices,” to wear masks on the bench.

“I did not request Justice Gorsuch or any other Justice to wear a mask on the bench,” Roberts said in a statement, reported Bloomberg’s Greg Stohr.

NPR reported Tuesday that Justice Sonia Sotomayor was refusing to do her job in-person because Gorsuch, who is vaccinated and boosted like Sotomayor, is refusing to wear a mask after being asked.

The report started to crack Tuesday evening when Fox News reported that a source refuted the claim.

Speaking to Fox News’ Bret Baier, network host and reporter Shannon Bream noted that the NPR report said Sotomayor “did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked.”

“Chief Justice John Roberts, understanding that, in some form asked the other Justices to mask up,” the NPR report claimed.

“It then says that Justice Gorsuch who normally sits right next to Sotomayor on the bench has repeatedly refused to do so and that’s forced Justice Sotomayor to operate remotely from her office for arguments and conferences,” Bream outlined.

“I am told that is not accurate,” the Fox News host asserted.

“A source at the Supreme Court says there has been no blanket admonition or request from Chief Justice Roberts that the other Justices begin wearing masks to arguments,” she explained. “The source further stated Justice Sotomayor did not make any such request to Justice Gorsuch. I’m told, given that fact, there was also no refusal by Justice Gorsuch.”

“The Justices are all vaccinated and boosted and they do test before taking the bench for arguments,” Bream noted.

On Wednesday morning, Justices Sotomayor and Gorsuch released a joint statement confirming Fox News’ reporting, and refuting the NPR report as simply “false.”

“Reporting that Justice Sotomayor asked Justice Gorsuch to wear a mask surprised us,” the statement said. “It is false.”

“While we may sometimes disagree about the law, we are warm colleagues and friends,” the statement added.

Partial transcript via NewsBusters: 

BRET BAIER: You know, Shannon, there is another mask story at the Supreme Court grabbing headlines about a dispute apparently over the justices wearing or not wearing masks. What have you been able to find out?

SHANNON BREAM: Okay. So, NPR published this story, Bret, saying that Justice Sotomayor, who has diabetes and has regularly been wearing a mask on the bench during arguments, expressed that she, quote, “Did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked.”

The story goes on to say, “Chief Justice John Roberts, understanding that, in some form asked the other Justices to mask up.” It then says that Justice Gorsuch who normally sits right next to Sotomayor on the bench has repeatedly refused to do so and that’s forced Justice Sotomayor to operate remotely from her office for arguments and conferences.  I am told that is not accurate.

A source at the Supreme Court says there has been no blanket admonition or request from Chief Justice Roberts that the other Justices begin wearing masks to arguments. The source further stated Justice Sotomayor did not make any such request to Justice Gorsuch. I’m told, given that fact, there was also no refusal by Justice Gorsuch.

The Justices are all vaccinated and boosted and they do test before taking the bench for arguments. Bret.

BAIER: There you go. Straight in and out for us. We will see you tonight, Shannon. Thanks.

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.