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COVID-19 masking requirements leads to rift between justices in Supreme Court

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  • Staff Report 

Two justices of the US Supreme court dismissed a report of a rift over face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

National Public Radio (NPR), reported that Chief Justice John Roberts had asked the other eight justices to wear masks during oral arguments.

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Masks: A point of contention

Justice Neil Gorsuch has appeared in court without a mask. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who typically sits next to Gorsuch on the bench, has attended recent hearings virtually, out of concern for her diabetes. Read more about this here.

Roberts, the chief justice, understands that Sotomayor did not feel safe. Therefore, she asked some of the other justices to wear a mask.

Gorsuch, 54, is a conservative. Sotomayor, 67,  is one of the three liberal justices on the court.

Wearing a mask has been a warzone  for many Americans now. Some claim that a masking mandate is an abuse of individual liberties.

Vaccination: Another point of contention

Many are divided on the subject of COVID-19 vaccination. Much of the divide came about when President Joe Biden released mandatory COVID shots or testing large businesses.

Sotomayor and the two other liberal justices voted in favor of the vaccination-or-testing mandate.

The initial outbreak of the coronavirus is March 2020 led to the Supreme court holding hearings by telephone, with the justices, all of whom have since been vaccinated and boosted, working from home.

In person hearings were resumed in October.

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