With Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate for private employees biting the dust last week, that opened the door for the Supreme Court discussion we’ve all been waiting for: Justice Neil Gorsuch not wearing a mask at oral arguments.
No, I’m not being facetious. That is an actual “scandal” being bandied about right now. According to Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s telling, Gorsuch selfishly put her health at risk by refusing to mask up, causing her to have to appear via video link instead of in person.
She’s continuing that trend this week, once again refusing to show up for work and blaming Gorsuch for putting her health in danger.
JUST IN: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor announces she will only attending oral arguments remotely this week.
Per NPR, Justice Sotomayor is boycotting in-person attendance because Justice Gorsuch REFUSES to wear a mask on the bench.
— Election Wizard 🇺🇸 (@ElectionWiz) January 18, 2022
In response, the press tried to put the onus on Chief Justice John Roberts as a way to deflect from Sotomayor’s ridiculous move, claiming that he put a mask mandate in place. But that appears to be a false claim, with no known rule existing that justices must wear masks during oral arguments.
Fact Check: 100% False.
The Chief never asked his colleagues to mask up, for any reason.
Mark Joseph Stern’s spouse works in the Supreme Court press office.
So he knows — or should know — that he’s spreading misinformation. https://t.co/Dz6tENFUkb
— 🇺🇸 Mike Davis 🇺🇸 (@mrddmia) January 18, 2022
To start, if Roberts had a backbone, he’d tell Sotomayor she can’t participate at all if she can’t bother to show up for work. That used to be the standard that applied to both the Supreme Court and Congress. Now, proxy voting rules and Zoom links are being abused by those not concerned about their health, but looking to make a political point.
Regardless, let’s note that every single justice on the Supreme Court is not only doubled vaccinated but they have all had boosters as well. That leaves the obvious question for Sotomayor: Does she not believe that the vaccines work? Do they protect against serious illness and death or not?
Think about the inaneness of her position. Sotomayor spewed mountains of disinformation during oral arguments in an attempt to federally mandate vaccines for 100 million private employees. Yet, she clearly doesn’t trust the vaccines enough to sit 30 feet away from someone not wearing a mask — who is also fully vaxxed and boosted. If she were trying to undermine her case, what would she be doing differently?
But for Sotomayor, this is really about power. She tried to create controversy by forcing Gorsuch to wear a mask in a clear attempt to bolster her argument that the pandemic is so serious that the Constitution no longer applies. “See, this virus is so dangerous that even all the conservative justices are masked up” she would have no doubt loved to bleat.
To his credit, Gorsuch refused to play along and threw her demands back in her face. If she doesn’t want to trust the very vaccines she’s trying to mandate for the little people, then she can jump on Zoom and rant from her house. Gorsuch made the right move, and it’s one that needs to happen in a lot of different areas right now. For too long, those who want to stay perpetually masked up in between booster shots have demanded others bend to their will. In doing so, they perpetually ignore the facts and data that show masks are largely ineffective anyway.
Now is the time to tell these people to stuff it and stay home if they are so irrationally scared. And while Sotomayor’s actions may draw plaudits from the media, she’ll continue to be defeated in the arena that actually matters.