Andrew Stiles • January 18, 2022
Not all heroes wear capes, but some of them regularly don robes (but certainly not masks) while fighting to make the world a better place—heroes like Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch, an early frontrunner for Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.
When the Supreme Court justices returned from the holiday break earlier this month, all of them were wearing masks on the bench. Well, all of them except Gorsuch, who refused to cover his handsome face. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who typically sits next to Gorsuch, wasn’t there. The Obama appointee took part in the proceedings via remote microphone set up in her chambers.
NPR reports that Chief Justice John Roberts had asked his colleagues to wear masks to placate Sotomayor, who did not feel safe around people who were unmasked. Gorsuch, a pro-freedom legal scholar appointed by former president Donald Trump in 2017, was the only one who declined to coddle his colleague.
Sotomayor, a diabetic, has consistently worn a mask to work since the Supreme Court resumed in-person arguments in October 2021. The Food and Drug Administration considers diabetes to be one of the “highest-risk comorbidities” involving COVID-19 patients. According to the Biden administration’s controversial health care guidance, first reported by the Free Beacon, diabetes should be given equal weight as an infected patient’s “non-White race or Hispanic/Latinx ethnicity” when assessing that patient’s “risk score.” That score determines who is eligible to receive monoclonal antibodies and other “lifesaving” treatments.
As a self-described “wise Latina,” Sotomayor would therefore receive a greater risk score than a similarly aged white woman with diabetes and one other “high-risk” comorbidity, such as hypertension, congestive heart failure, or chronic pulmonary disease. In response to the Free Beacon‘s reporting, health care providers have announced they would no longer use race as criteria for treating COVID-19 patients.
Sotomayor recently embarrassed herself during oral arguments regarding the constitutionality of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for large employers, which was subsequently struck down. Speaking from her chambers on Jan. 7, the justice claimed that “over 100,000 children” were “in serious condition and many on ventilators” due to the virus. The Washington Post awarded Four Pinocchios to this “wildly incorrect” statement. According to the Biden administration’s own data, there were about 5,000 children hospitalized due to a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 at the time.
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