False media stories truly are a cancer.
NPR’s Nina Totenberg started a story claiming that Chief Justice John Roberts had asked everyone to mask up to protect Justice Sonia Sotomayor who has diabetes, but that Justice Neil Gorsuch was refusing to do so, making Sotomayor have to participate in cases virtually. On top of that, Totenberg suggested that the court wasn’t always getting along with each other, that even within the conservative wing, they weren’t always getting along.
The mask smear was then picked up by virtually every media outlet and spread to make it look like Gorsuch was being mean and evil to poor Sotomayor. Everyone on the left then attacked Gorsuch.
Now, there were a few problems with the story that ‘journalists’ should have addressed. Did they even ask the Court before running with this story? They just failed the first rule of journalism. Plus, the Court doesn’t leak backbiting like this generally; that’s something that the Court has historically been against. The Court may disagree on a lot of legal issues, but they tend to have a unified front on such things. The story stunk to high heaven from the start, and anyone who knows the Court should have doubted it.
As we reported last night, Fox had a source at the Court tell them the mask story wasn’t true — that Roberts never asked the justices to mask up, Sotomayor never asked Gorsuch and therefore, Gorsuch never refused a request. Former Gorsuch law clerk Mike Davis also disputed the report.
“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
But now comes the iron-clad response that should put the rumor to bed: a formal statement from both Justice Sotomayor and Justice Gorsuch that it wasn’t true and that there wasn’t any discord between them personally.
NEW: A statement from Justices Sotomayor and Gorsuch:
"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."
— Adam Liptak (@adamliptak) January 19, 2022
“Reporting that Justice Sotomayor asked Justice Gorsuch to wear a mask surprised us,” the statement said. “It is false. While we may sometimes disagree about the law, we are warm colleagues and friends.”
Since the Court doesn’t usually deal with or care about gossip, this means they were disturbed by the lie and wanted to break it up quickly.
So, that should end the madness, right?
Nope. Folks in a cult simply refuse delivery on the truth. They still have to try to come up with how it could still be true or come up with conspiracies. So, they’re examining the language of the statement and disregarding the Fox report. They’re still trying to claim there’s an issue.
But… the report was that Roberts asked him to wear a mask, not Sotomayor. So… I don’t get this statement.
Is this another fake comma gaslighting from Team Gorsuch thing?
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) January 19, 2022
Read between the lines here. Justice Sonia didn't ask him to wear the mask. Chief Justice Roberts did, because of her medical condition. And Gorsuch refused. TO ME, it feels like Gorsuch forced this statement because of the understandable backlash he's been receiving. https://t.co/fHJcXGhnq9
— April (@ReignOfApril) January 19, 2022
Talk about gaslighting themselves. So now, it’s somehow Gorsuch who has ‘forced’ Sotomayor to issue such a statement? Can we talk about the fact that they just can’t handle the truth? And what do they think that would say about Sotomayor, if he could force her into making such a statement? That would make her seem weak. How silly is this argument?
Conservative and liberal justice declare that they manage to maintain a respectful, cordial relationship like normal adults.
Twitter partisans throw a temper trantrum in response. https://t.co/mTTUyGRWOv
— Brian Riedl 🧀 (@Brian_Riedl) January 19, 2022
That’s about the size of it.