UPDATE: Justice Gorsuch Still Maskless, Still A Dick
LB1_9639.jpg | Justice Neil Gorsuch On Thursday, Sept. 19, 2… | Flickr

Earlier this week, Nina Totenberg, the grande dame of Supreme Court reporters, came out with a hot scoop. Apparently, every justice but one had agreed to mask up for the comfort and safety of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who is diabetic and at elevated risk due to the latest coronavirus surge. Only that asshole Neil Gorsuch refused, according to Totenberg's reporting.

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.

Wow, pretty shocking that a guy who ruled that a company had a right to fire a trucker for refusing to freeze to death in an unheated truck doesn't believe in workplace safety, right?

But then the Court issued a rare public statement purporting to be from Justices Sotomayor and Gorsuch saying, "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."

As all of law Twitter immediately noted, this was not a denial of the story as written.

So much for textual originalism.

Realizing perhaps that it had only managed to Streisand-effect the whole story, the Court came out with yet another statement, this time purporting to be from Chief Justice Roberts.

"I did not request Justice Gorsuch or any other Justice to wear a mask on the bench,” he insisted petulantly. Lest anyone think that he showed a modicum of leadership or enforced basic decorum. Make no mistake: Chief Justice Roberts is taking no responsibility here for the health and well-being of his colleagues!

NPR stands by its reporting; CNN says Sotomayor "expressed her concerns to Roberts;" and Fox says the whole thing was made up and "Justice Sotomayor did not make any such request to Justice Gorsuch."

We may never know what happened behind the scenes. But yesterday Justice Gorsuch appeared maskless again for oral arguments, even as all his colleagues, and all the lawyers, and all the court staff showed up masked. Justice Sotomayor, who sits next to Justice Gorsuch, participated remotely. So your Wonkette will not be retracting its commentary, the crux of which was that Justice Gorsuch was, and remains, a giant raging, dickhole. Res ipsa loquitur.

Thank you for your attention to this important update.



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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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