During the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on the Biden administration’s vaccine or test mandate in certain workplaces earlier this month some court observers noted every justice was masked – except one: Neil Gorsuch. They also noticed that Justice Sonia Sotomayor was participating from her chambers via telephone, while her co-workers were seated as usual on the bench.
“Sotomayor has diabetes, a condition that puts her at high risk for serious illness, or even death, from COVID-19,” NPR reported Tuesday. “Sotomayor did not feel safe in close proximity to people who were unmasked. Chief Justice John Roberts, understanding that, in some form asked the other justices to mask up.”
“They all did,” NPR’s Nina Totemberg noted. “Except Gorsuch, who, as it happens, sits next to Sotomayor on the bench.”
Public outcry was swift, and it includes legal experts:
“As a member of the Supreme Ct bar, I condemn in the strongest terms possible Justice Gorsuch refusing to wear a mask to protect his high risk colleague, Justice Sotomayor, from being killed by Covid,” wrote Richard Signorelli, a civil and criminal litigation attorney and former Asst. U.S. Attorney. “Shame on him.”
Constitutional law scholar and Harvard University Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe, who has argued before the Supreme Court 36 times, called Justice Gorsuch a “jerk.”
“Gorsuch’s refusal to mask up on the bench even when asked by the Chief Justice to do so in order that the diabetic and hence immunocompromised Justice Sotomayor could attend in person shows just what kind of jerk Gorsuch is,” Tribe tweeted. He added he wished Gorsuch were not an alumnus of Harvard Law.
“Personally, I feel like we’re entitled to expect our Supreme Court justices to be better role models,” wrote former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now a well-known MSNBC and NBC News legal analyst and law professor. “Or, at least, to have an ounce of decency. Putting on a mask would have cost Gorsuch nothing, but then he didn’t care about risk to front line workers, either,” she noted subtly, after the conservative Court voted 6-3 to block OSHA’s vaccine or test mandate.
USA Today columnist Connie Schultz quoted Dahlia Lithwick, an attorney and author of “Supreme Court Dispatches” and “Jurisprudence,” from Lithwick’s Slate column:
“The real problem with the court’s masks-optional policy? It reflects the court’s much larger rules-optional policy on everything pertaining to judicial conduct.” – @Dahlialithwick https://t.co/B8mZKymjaP
— Connie Schultz (@ConnieSchultz) January 18, 2022
“Gorsuch should be the one who is forced to isolate, not Sotomayor,” notes NBC News and MSNBC Legal Contributor Katie S. Phang.
Legal journalist Cristian Farias, a former New York Times editorial writer last week commented on Gorsuch and his refusal to wear a mask:
A couple of years ago, Neil Gorsuch wrote a whole book lamenting the loss of civility in public life. In it, he quotes a rule George Washington is said to have learned as a child:
“Bedew no man’s face with your spittle, by approaching too near him when you speak.”
Kid you not. https://t.co/Aicgtcolh5
— Cristian Farias (@cristianafarias) January 11, 2022
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‘Zero Credibility’: Top Attorney Blasts Tom Cotton for Attacking Biden and Peaceful Protestors Outside Justices’ Homes
Peaceful protests have repeatedly – by Democrats and Republicans alike – been called the “cornerstone” of American democracy, even by legal experts. But Harvard Law educated attorney and U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), who one year ago proudly issued a statement declaring “COTTON TAKES ON CANCEL CULTURE,” is denouncing peaceful pro-choice Americans who have been protesting outside two U.S. Supreme Court justices’ homes to defend the constitutional right to abortion.
Responding to an unusually strong statement from the White House, Senator Cotton specifically attacked protestors “showing up at private homes,” calling it “intimidation,” and even “unlawful and unamerican.”
The White House is playing word games.
Biden needs to clearly condemn the mob for *showing up at private homes* at night (with kids present) to intimidate the Justices.
This intimidation is unlawful and unamerican. https://t.co/LDrX3Zq7CR
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) May 9, 2022
While the protests may or may not be legal (I’m no legal expert so I’m deferring to someone who is, here,) they are the iconic representation of actions that are exquisitely American, fueled by actions – the threat of taking away constitutional rights – that are not.
In fact, American history is filled with proud examples of peaceful protests – and no-so peaceful protests taught to our children in history books nationwide.
The Boston Tea Party is an iconic celebration of American protest – and while not not violent, not exactly “peaceful.”
Top national security lawyer Bradley Moss blasted Cotton, asking why he was silent when armed protestors descended on Michigan Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s home to protest Trump’s election loss. And when Georgia Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his family for months received death threats because he refused to illegally hand the election over the Trump. And a few other times:
Where were you for Jocelyn Benson? Where were you for Brad Raffensperger? Where were you for the IC whistleblower? Where were you when Trump called for my boss to be tried for treason?
You have zero credibility on this. None. https://t.co/byqCODLpsz
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) May 9, 2022
Sen. Cotton, by the way, began his attack at 9:30 AM, with this, 30 minutes after the White House had indeed condemned the protests:
The White House has tacitly blessed the unlawful and unamerican intimidation of Supreme Court Justices at their homes.
Joe Biden has shown he has none of the decency he promised to restore.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) May 9, 2022
Watch: McConnell Repeatedly Refuses to Comment on SCOTUS Abortion Opinion – ‘The Story Today’ Is the Leak
Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was given the opportunity to take full credit for “singlehandedly” reshaping the Supreme Court to enable it to, as is expected after a leaked draft opinion – strike down Roe v. Wade.
He refused. Repeatedly.
In fact, not only did he refuse to take credit when CNN’s Manu Raju handed it to him, he refused to even comment on the leaked opinion, a 90-page document that harshly overturns the nearly 50-year-old decision from 1973 that acknowledged abortion is a constitutional right.
Instead, McConnell lectured reporters that “the story today” is the leak, not what the opinion says, which is pure political propaganda and gaslighting.
“You spent decades trying to remake the court, overturn Roe, you’re singlehandedly responsible for the 6-3 majority, so do you take personal credit for abortion rights likely to go away for millions of people in this country?” Raju asked.
“I think the story today,” McConnell replied, “is an effort by someone on the inside to discredit the institution of the Senate,” he added. (It’s unclear why he said the Senate and not the Supreme Court.)
“You spent decades trying to remake the court, overturn Roe … Do you take personal credit for abortion rights likely to go away for millions of people in this country?”
— The Recount (@therecount) May 3, 2022
That was not the only time McConnell told reporters what the story is.
“You need – it seems to me, excuse the lecture – to concentrate on what the news is today,” McConnell declared. “Not a leaked draft, but the fact that the draft was leaked.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell tells the press not to concentrate on the contents of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion, but on “the fact that the draft was leaked.” pic.twitter.com/FEuFu4fNKh
— The Recount (@therecount) May 3, 2022
McConnell’s admonitions are pure propaganda. The news that affects millions of Americans is that abortion is about to become illegal for them, and soon after, contraception, and LGBTQ rights including sex and marriage. A leaked draft won’t even make the history books.
‘They Lied to You’: Susan Collins Blasted as a ‘Joke’ and a ‘Fraud’ After Statement on Kavanaugh and Gorsuch
U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), who voted to confirm both conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court despite having every indication they would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, has issued a statement distancing herself from a leaked opinion that shows the Court has already voted to entirely overturn the five-decade-old decision.
It’s not going well for her.
“If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office,” Collins said in a statement.
Many are outraged, having warned the Republican Senator from Maine that by voting to confirm Gorsuch and Kavanaugh she was voting to eliminate a woman’s constitutional right to abortion. As some noted, Collins did not say she would challenge the Justices, demand they explain their obvious lies, or take any action whatsoever.
Some are reposting old video of Collins defending her votes of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh:
Seems like the only person who didn’t realize what a fool Susan Collins was… was Susan Collins. pic.twitter.com/FFaVMpkU6W
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) May 3, 2022
Collins was accused of lying even before she issued her statement:
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 3, 2022
The former Director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics:
Susan Collins has issued a statement showing that she is concerned that the nominees who were obviously lying lied to her. That’ll fix it.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) May 3, 2022
The Nation’s Elie Mystal:
I’m not anybody’s assigning editor so I apologize for speaking out of turn, but I ASSUME the @nytimes has sent somebody to camp outside Susan Collins’s office to get her comment on her boy, alleged attempt rapist Brett Kavanaugh, doing the thing she promised us he wouldn’t do.
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) May 3, 2022
Talking Points Memo founder and editor:
its hard to be a bigger joke or bigger fraud than susan collins. https://t.co/5yD1HAGNLR
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) May 3, 2022
Clinton White House Press Secretary:
Best reporter question for Susan Collins today. Senator, since Justice Kavanaugh lies to you during your hearing and Roe is settled law will you support a filibuster exception to codify roe, which you support. If not why? Someone should ask
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) May 3, 2022
Top national security attorney:
Shorter Collins: I got played. https://t.co/jHzomerrIa
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) May 3, 2022
Notice she doesn’t say this would upset her, because it wouldn’t, because she is in on it. https://t.co/d0VePlj2FV
— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) May 3, 2022
2/ Btw #2, @SenatorCollins, the word you’re looking for is LIE. They LIED to you.
— Laffy (@GottaLaff) May 3, 2022
It is embarrassing that people still don’t get that Susan Collins was just lying.
She wasn’t fooled. She was lying. She knew this would happen.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) May 3, 2022
Do you think Susan Collins is a blatant LIAR or just incredibly GULLIBLE?
— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) May 3, 2022
Susan Collins should resign. Tonight.
— Andrew Wortman 🏳️🌈🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@AmoneyResists) May 3, 2022
Susan Collins either needs to move for the impeachment of Kavanaugh and Gorsuch — or she needs to resign. https://t.co/XIxTHKAuSw
— Tristan Snell (@TristanSnell) May 3, 2022
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