Justice Neil Gorsuch is reportedly the only member of the Supreme Court to refuse to wear a mask to help protect his colleague Justice Sonia Sotomayor, whose diabetes puts her at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. NPR reports that after Sotomayor made clear she felt vulnerable amid an Omicron-driven surge in cases, Chief Justice John Roberts asked the other justices to wear a mask on the bench. All of them did except Gorsuch, who also happens to sit next to Sotomayor, according to NPR. As a result, Sotomayor is said to have attended weekly conferences remotely. In a statement responding to the NPR report, Sotomayor and Gorsuch appeared to try and dispel any notion of a feud between them. “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 two said in a joint statement Wednesday.
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