A columnist at The Washington Post slammed Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch for refusing to wear a mask during the Court’s hearings on the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for businesses.
Writing in the Post’s Op-Ed section, Deputy Editorial Page Editor Ruth Marcus said that Gorsuch’s refusal to don a face covering was symbolic of the nation’s “fraying social fabric.”
“When the Supreme Court justices took their seats Friday morning to hear oral arguments in two cases challenging the Biden administration’s covid rules, seven of the justices wore masks — a change in their previous behavior prompted, no doubt, by the emergence of an new infectious strain,” Marcus began. Gorsuch was the one justice in the chamber who refused to wear a mask, while Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was previously the only justice to wear a mask in the courtroom, and would have sat next to Gorsuch during the hearing, participated virtually from her chambers, Marcus added.
Marcus went on to point out that the High Court has strict rules in place for who can be inside the court chamber. Reporters and lawyers must wear N95 masks and test negative for COVID-19 in order to attend hearings. In fact, Marcus pointed out, two of the lawyers arguing against the mandate tested positive and were forced to attend virtually. Reporters are also socially distanced from one another.
“These rules and practices all make sense for the court (where five justices, including Sotomayor, are over 65) and for the public. Indeed, they offer a model for responsible workplace behavior in an age of omicron,” Marcus wrote. “Which brings me to the question: Where was Gorsuch’s mask?”
An inquiry to the Supreme Court’s public information office yielded no results, Marcus wrote.
“What would possess Gorsuch to break with his colleagues and disdain the mask?” she continued. “I understand, masks are uncomfortable. No one likes wearing them. If they were pure [COVID] theater, without evidence of effectiveness, the bristling noncompliance might be understandable.”
“But correct masks, properly fitted, work in two directions — to help protect the wearer from infection, and to reduce the likelihood of infecting others in situations where you may be infected but may not yet have tested positive.”
“Wearing a mask is the decent thing to do — especially when you are around vulnerable individuals. This is true even if it is not required, as it would be if Gorsuch were to pop into the grocery store to pick up some milk on his way home, or if he were to be in an ordinary workplace in the District,” Marcus went on.
“This is not the Gorsuch way. He doesn’t like being told what to do,” she wrote, drawing comparisons between his decision not to wear a mask and the questions he asked about the federal government exerting “control” over private businesses in a seeming attempt to paint Gorsuch as an incorrigible libertarian on the wrong side of the COVID issue.
“The sad part here is that Gorsuch is more emblem than outlier,” Marcus complained. “The pandemic has brought out the best in some of us, but the worst — the most selfish and irresponsible — in too many others. This ‘you’re not the boss of me’ immaturity has made a difficult period even harder.”
“Actions that should be understood as minor inconveniences desirable for the greater good have somehow been transformed into intolerable incursions on liberty. Being required to wear a mask has assumed symbolic resonance far in excess of any reasonable objection.”
“No one is the boss of Justice Gorsuch,” Marcus concluded. “Like his colleagues, he had a choice about whether to wear a mask. Unlike them, he chose poorly.”
The Supreme Court heard arguments Friday in a lawsuit brought by a number of businesses challenging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees. Justices questioned the legality of the mandate, and were “active and skeptical” in their questions, leading George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley to tell The Daily Wire that the Court may possibly rule to temporarily stay the mandate.
The Daily Wire is fighting Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate in federal court. Join us in this fight by signing our petition to OSHA, telling them that you will not comply with this mandate.