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CORRECTION: Supreme Court Says NPR Report Was Incorrect, Sotomayor Did Not Ask Gorsuch To Wear A Mask


The Supreme Court of the United States has denied a report from NPR that claimed Justice Neil Gorsuch refused to wear a mask while in session after a request from Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

In a joint statement, the justices denied that Gorsuch had refused to wear a mask as a snub to the diabetic justice who has been participating in court proceedings via a microphone in her chambers because of her concerns about contracting COVID-19.

Reporting that Justice Sotomayor asked Justice Gorsuch to wear a mask surprised us.  It is false,” the Jan. 19 statement read. “While we may sometimes disagree about the law, we are warm colleagues and friends.” 

Nina Totenberg, NPR’s legal affairs correspondent, reported that “according to court sources, Sotomayor did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked” and had taken to remote appearance because she sits next to Gorsuch on the bench. The report said that Chief Justice John Roberts was aware of Sotomayor’s concerns and had asked his fellow justices to wear a mask. Gorsuch had not complied.

“Gorsuch, from the beginning of his tenure, has proved a prickly justice, not exactly beloved even by his conservative soulmates on the court,” Totenberg added.

Following the publication of Totenberg’s report on Jan. 18, the chief legal correspondent for Fox News Shannon Bream said on air that she had been informed by her sources that the report was inaccurate. She said that Roberts has not requested the justices wear masks.

“A source at the Supreme Court says there have been no blanket admonition or request from Chief Justice Roberts that the other justices begin wearing masks to arguments,” Bream continued. “The source further stated Justice Sotomayor did not make any such request to Justice Gorsuch. I’m told, given that fact, there was also no refusal by Justice Gorsuch.”

The story was reported by several mainstream media outlets. Rolling Stone’s report was given the headline “Neil Gorsuch Stands Up for His Right to Endanger Sonia Sotomayor’s Health” and claimed Gorsuch did not care about Sotomayor’s health concerns.  CNN used “Gorsuch declines to wear mask, as bench-mate Sotomayor works from her office” as the title of its article covering the story.

For its retelling, Newsweek emphasized the criticism Gorsuch received following NPR’s report – using the headline “Justice Neil Gorsuch Slammed for Not Wearing Mask, Endangering Diabetic Sonia Sotomayor.”

Mike Davis, a law clerk for Justice Gorsuch, offered a fact-check from his personal Twitter account.

Notably, the Court’s statement does not deny that Sotomayor is teleworking or that Gorsuch is not wearing a mask during in-person proceedings. 

All nine justices have been given the COVID-19 vaccination and have received booster shots.

*For corrections please email [email protected]*

4 responses to “CORRECTION: Supreme Court Says NPR Report Was Incorrect, Sotomayor Did Not Ask Gorsuch To Wear A Mask”

  1. elmewfudd says:

    @Pierre-Paul; Bro, for real. The articles on this website are absolute TRASH. I’m seriously considering canceling my membership as well. Tim is ALWAYS talking about “framing” but his “journalists” are obviously just as terrible as pro-establishment media outlets when it comes to their reporting. Maybe it’s a symptom of reporting being biased for so long, that no one knows how to just report facts, but the framing of these articles couldn’t be any worse, especially for all the shit Tim talks on the podcast. Considering putting my hard earned money into WeAreChange rather than this bullshit. I hardly watch the members only segments anyway.

  2. Amasterbaiter says:

    In Soto’s defense she does believe 6 million people with diabetes died last week… in DC…

  3. Pierre-Paul says:

    Thank you for the new article, but it is still alarming that the original article just conveyed fake news without verifying any of the information. If “journalists” on Timcast.com don’t fact check anything before publishing, I don’t see how it is different than any other corporate media outlets.

    This was the second strike in a week, after the awful article by Michael Robison, refering to “far right OAN” and repeatedly using the pejorative expression “conspiracy theories” instead of the more objective “allegations” regarding election fraud. If there is a third strike, I will have to consider the site as the same unverified, biased, propaganda as any of the corporate media… and i don’t give money to propagandist media organizations.

    I know that Tim cannot micro-manage everything, but PLEASE, stop destroying his reputation and the business with incompetence or bias.

  4. pandusa says:

    NPR is a shit show anyway. Has been for years. Noisome pestilence.

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