(breitbart) – Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will continue to work remotely instead of appearing in person at the U.S. Supreme Court because fellow Justice Neil Gorsuch refuses to wear a mask in court, according to a report by National Public Radio.
NPR reported Tuesday that the justices were like a “dysfunctional family”:
It was pretty jarring earlier this month when the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court took the bench for the first time since the omicron surge over the holidays. All were now wearing masks. All, that is, except Justice Neil Gorsuch. What’s more, Justice Sonia Sotomayor was not there at all, choosing instead to participate through a microphone setup in her chambers.
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.
Sotomayor appears to believe some alarmist stories about the pandemic, claiming falsely during oral arguments about the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate on January 7 that 100,000 American children were hospitalized from coronavirus.
Politico reported erroneously that Sotomayor later went to a dinner without a mask; it confused her with the wife of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).