Another day, another fake story.
Earlier this week, the far-left NPR published a report claiming Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch deliberately defied a request by Chief Justice John Roberts — made on behalf of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who has underlying health conditions — that each of the justices wear masks while in court. His refusal, the report said, forced Sotomayor to participate remotely in the bench’s scheduled oral arguments and weekly conferences.
The story wasn’t true.
One glance at the report should have sent alarms off in every journalist’s head, especially since the fifth paragraph made it clear the story was little more than a launching pad for unrelated criticisms of Gorsuch.
The article reads like a gossip column and was obviously a way for NPR to bash a right-leaning justice by grouping it with a nonsensical “news” story.
It speculates about tensions and old feuds between the conservative justices in a way that would embarrass anyone but a Page Six reporter. Yet dozens of mainstream journalists and leftists shared the story and repeated its claims as if they were true:
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. I wish he weren’t an HLS alum. https://t.co/djLtpKWNtI
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 18, 2022
Regardless of what you think about his politics – Gorsuch appears to be a terrible, terrible person. https://t.co/8g1rteWQLu
— Tim Fullerton (@TimFullerton) January 18, 2022
Neil Gorsuch: first class boor, total asshole. Of course, we knew this from his confirmation hearing, where he made clear he could care less if a truck driver froze to death. https://t.co/MnS53kTZo4
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) January 18, 2022
But the report was a lie.
A few hours after NPR published the story, conservative journalists with connections to the nation’s highest court began refuted the story.
They discovered there was no blanket admonition or request from Chief Justice Roberts that the other justices begin wearing masks to arguments. Sources further stated Justice Sotomayor did not make any such request to Justice Gorsuch.
This was confirmed on Wednesday by Sotomayor, Gorsuch, and Roberts themselves.
MORE JUST IN on Maskgate, this time from the Chief Justice: “I did not request Justice Gorsuch or any other Justice to wear a mask on the bench.”
— Robert Barnes (@scotusreporter) January 19, 2022
“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,” Sotomayor and Gorsuch said in a joint statement.
Why did so many people fall for this fake news? The answer is obvious: They already disliked Gorsuch because of his views, so they gladly jumped on a story that, in their minds, confirmed they were right to dislike him.
Every single person who elevated NPR’s false reporting and used it to insult Gorsuch should admit the error and apologize. But they won’t — because as they proved this week, they’re not honest, nor are they interested in the truth. They’re partisans, and they deserve to be dismissed as such.
Author: Nolan Sheridan
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