On Wednesday, US Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Neil Gorsuch released a joint statement debunking previous reporting from the NPR alleging that Gorsuch refused to wear a mask despite worries from Sotomayor, who is diabetic.
"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," the joint statement reads, according to SCOTUSblog.
The NPR story, written by Nina Totenberg, stated that court sources told the outlet that Sotomayor felt unsafe in close proximity with others, particularly those who are unmasked.
In response, Chief Justice John Roberts allegedly instructed the other judges and court staffers to mask up, with Gorsuch being the only one to go against the instructions.
"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," wrote Totenberg, who goes on to state that Gorsuch’s repeated refusal to mask up has prompted Sotomayor to work remotely, out of the office.
Speaking with Fox News on Tuesday Night, network host and reporter Shannon Bream stated that a source at the Supreme Court said that there has been no such request from Roberts for judges to wear masks to arguments, and that no such request came from Sotomayor to Gorsuch either.
"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. 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." reported Bream. "The justices are all vaccinated and boosted and they do test before taking the bench for arguments."