The Biden administration’s sweeping vaccine mandates made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, and while the liberal justices embarrassed themselves by spouting all sorts of misinformation about the pandemic, it was a commentary on the proceedings from the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus that was perhaps the most cringeworthy episode of the day.
As the Daily Wire reports, the Washington Post’s deputy editorial page editor penned a laughable piece in which she blasted Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch – of the court’s conservative wing – for not sporting a face mask during oral arguments on the vaccine rules, a move she hyperbolically claimed symbolized the “fraying social fabric” of the country.
Marcus noted that seven of the nine justices wore masks, “a change in their previous behavior prompted, no doubt, by the emergence of a new infectious strain,” with Sonia Sotomayor opting to participate in the hearing remotely, and Gorsuch abstaining from donning his altogether.
According to Marcus, the court itself upholds stringent mitigation measures when it comes to reporters as well as lawyers arguing before the court, requiring both categories of attendees to test negative for the virus and use N95 masks on the premises.
This, in Marcus’ estimation, are all things that “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,” promoting her to then ask, “where was Gorsuch’s mask?”
Further blasting the justice’s choice with regard to facial covering, Marcus wondered, “What would possess Gorsuch to break with his colleagues and disdain the mask? 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.”
Despite substantial ongoing scientific debate about whether masks are anywhere as effective in preventing viral spread as Marcus claims, her broader point – one all too common among liberals throughout the pandemic – was revealed, namely, that mask-wearing is really more about virtue signaling than anything else.
“Wearing a mask is the decent thing to do,” she proclaimed, before adding, “This is not the Gorsuch way. He doesn’t like being told what to do,” an apparent expression of frustration about the justice’s willingness to assert free will in the face of coercion.
Sadly, Marcus’ interpretation of Gorsuch’s choice as indicative of some sort of “‘you’re not the boss of me’ immaturity” rather than as an expression of a right – as a fully vaccinated and boosted individual – to assess his own risk tolerance has been part and parcel of the left’s pandemic preaching ever since the crisis began.