Reporter suggests Supreme Court justices are lying

Supreme Court portrait, April 2021 (video screenshot)
Supreme Court portrait, April 2021 (video screenshot)

The U.S. Supreme Court regularly issues statements. They’re called opinions and they determine what the U.S. law is, and how it is applied.

Rarely, only rarely, does the court venture into any other statements.

This week, it did, rejecting a reporter’s charges that there was a conflict among the justices over masking or not masking.

In fact, the claim there was a dispute was rejected so emphatically by the court, multiple statements were released.

So a reporter for the group that made the claim has concluded that the justices are … lying.

The fight erupted when National Public Radio, and others, claimed that Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who has diabetes, was listening to arguments by telephone at least partly because Justice Neil Gorsuch, who sits next to her in the courtroom, didn’t wear a mask.

NPR’s story was by legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg and was headlined: “Gorsuch didn’t mask despite Sotomayor’s COVID worries, leading her to telework.”

The report suggested Chief Justice John Roberts told the justices to wear masks because of the omicron surge since Sotomayor has diabetes.

Totenberg cited “court sources” and said Sotomayor did not feel “safe” in proximity to unmasked people, then Roberts, reported at Sotomayor’s behest, issued the mask plan.

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

But Roberts, Gorsuch and Sotomayor all have said that’s far from correct. Fox News reported Gorsuch and Sotomayor issued a statement that the report was “false.”

“While we may sometimes disagree about the law, we are warm colleagues and friends,” they said. And Roberts confirmed, “I did not request Justice Gorsuch or any other justice to wear a mask on the bench.”

Those comments proved to be no obstacle for NPR to double down, however.

Totenberg colleague David Gura expressly accused the justices of falsehoods: “I (sic) surprised at how many Supreme Court correspondents I admire are passing along a statement from two justices that is at best false without any context whatsoever.”

His own statement that the justices are lying immediately drew a flood of reaction, from a wide range of individuals:

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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