U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is reportedly refusing to take part in person when the Supreme Court takes the bench for one reason: Justice Neil Gorsuch steadfastly refuses to wear a mask, according to a report.
Sotomayor, who has diabetes and has been the only justice to wear a mask since the Court resumed activity in fall of 2021, will only join the other justices through a microphone setup in her chambers. After Chief Justice John Roberts reportedly requested that all the justices wear a mask because of the Omicron surge, Gorsuch, who sits next to Sotomayor on the bench, refused, according to NPR.
Fox News partly contradicted NPR’s report, stating Tuesday evening that 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.”
“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.” pic.twitter.com/petcj6q1nK
— 🇺🇸 Mike Davis 🇺🇸 (@mrddmia) January 19, 2022
CNBC noted that Gorsuch was “the only justice in the courtroom not to wear a mask during oral arguments,” while both Justices Sotomayor and Stephen Breyer participated remotely. “Breyer, at 83 the oldest member of the court, stayed out of the courtroom after a spokesperson said he received the results of a Covid test that was later determined to be a false positive,” the outlet reported.
Recently, Sotomayor made false statements when the Court considered President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates for health care workers and for corporations that employ more than 100 people. Sotomayor claimed, “We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in serious condition and many on ventilators.”
Fox News’ Bret Baier noted, “The number is not 100,000, it’s roughly 3500 in hospitals now.”
While the number of coronavirus-positive pediatric hospitalizations has risen with the spread of the omicron variant, Sotomayor’s number was way off.
At the time she made this comment, federal data showed that fewer than 5,000 coronavirus-positive children were in the hospital. In fact, fewer than 83,000 children have been hospitalized for COVID-19 — cumulatively — since August 2020.
There are over 100,000 cases among children, but scientists say that few of those are severe.
In February 2020, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) compared left-leaning Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to an “arsonist,” after she attacked the five justices on the court who ruled in favor of the Trump administration’s request for an emergency stay on a lower court’s nationwide injunction against its “public charge” rule. That rule banned non-citizens from receiving a green card if the government believed those non-citizens would rely on public assistance.
Sotomayor suggested the five conservative justices had demonstrated bias for the Trump administration. Cruz responded, “I read it a little bit like an arsonist complaining about the noise from the fire trucks.”
The Daily Wire explained:
The progressive justice, Cruz suggested, has the whole problem backwards. The issue is not that the Trump administration is requesting emergency stays on lower court’s injunctions, or that the Supreme Court is granting those stays. The problem is that activist judges in lower courts are excessively blocking Trump administration policies. “
If you look to the facts of what’s happening with nationwide injunctions, I think it will explain why the Department of Justice has had to ask the Supreme Court to intervene over and over again,” said Cruz.
This article has been updated to include Fox News’ report that Roberts did not issue a blanket request that justices be masked during oral arguments.