National Public Radio Tuesday that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will work remotely because fellow Justice Neil Gorsuch refuses to wear a mask in court, despite Chief Justice John Roberson’s request to do so.
According to Breitbart News, however, that report was quickly debunked by a Supreme Court source and Fox News later reported that according to the court itself, Justice Roberts never asked his colleagues to mask up and that Justice Sotomayor had not requested Justice Gorsuch wear a mask.
The NPR report from earlier in the week said, “Sotomayor has diabetes, a condition that puts her at high risk for serious illness, or even death, from COVID-19. 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.
“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, understanding that in some form, asked the other justices to mask up.
“They all did. Except Gorsuch, who, as it happens, sits next to Sotomayor on the bench. His continued refusal since then has also meant that Sotomayor has not attended the justices’ weekly conference in person, joining instead by telephone.”
Just one day after NPR’s Nina Totenberg’s report, and Fox News contradicted that report, Gorsuch and Sotomayor released a joint statement, personally contradicting the story.
“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,” the statement said, in part.
NPR did not respond to Breitbart’s request for comment on its story, but they did later update the headline and story to include the Supreme Court source, which said the story was not accurate and that Fox outed the inaccuracies.