With the U.S. Supreme Court hearing arguments about the legality of federal vaccine mandates, a certain Covid Karen at the Washington Post is really irked about something vaguely related: Masks. The deputy editorial page editor and longtime columnist for said periodical, Ruth Marcus, went postal because Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch was not wearing a mask while hearing oral arguments on this matter.
Marcus let the world know how upset she was with Gorsuch’s maskless heresy on Monday by screeching to the world with this fiery op-ed, “Where was Justice Neil Gorsuch’s mask?”
She didn’t waste a second in making her disgust known:
Where was Justice Neil M. Gorsuch’s mask? If you think this sounds like a trivial question, I dissent. I believe it goes to the heart of our fraying social fabric.
When the Supreme Court justices took their seats Friday morning to hear oral arguments in two cases challenging the Biden administration’s covid rules, seven of the justices wore masks — a change in their previous behavior prompted, no doubt, by the emergence of an new infectious strain.
And now Marcus contrasts Gorsuch, who annoys her partly because he wasn’t wearing a mask and mainly because he is part of the 6-3 conservative majority, with the “wise Latina” Sonya Sotomayor:
One justice, Sonia Sotomayor, who had previously been the only justice to wear a mask on the bench, participated remotely from her chambers. Sotomayor has diabetes, which is a risk factor for more severe illness with covid. She also is, or would have been, Gorsuch’s seat mate for the nearly four-hour-long argument session.
Marcus acknowledged that all nine justices are vaccinated and boosted, but almost made it seem as though they’re pointless and that the holy mask is just as if not more important:
But Mike Davis, Gorsuch’s former law clerk, as well as founder and president of the Article III Project, which lobbied to confirm President Donald Trump’s judges, responded this way on Twitter: “Every justice is vaccinated and boosted. Don’t vaccines work? We know cloth masks don’t.”
Oh, please. Yes, vaccines work. They protect against serious illness and greatly reduce the risk of hospitalization and death. They work less well, given the contagiousness of the omicron variant, to prevent breakthrough infections.
Of course, Marcus refused to comment on Sotomayor’s whopper that 100,000 children in serious condition due to Covid and that Omicron is as deadly as the Delta variant. Instead, she lamented that “Gorsuch is more emblem than outlier” as “[t]he pandemic has brought out the best in some of us, but the worst — the most selfish and irresponsible — in too many others.”
Which would you prefer, Ruth? A mask wearing Gorsuch who votes against the mandates or a maskless Gorsuch who votes to keep the mandates? Somehow one gets the feeling that Marcus would be okay with such a mandate supporting Gorsuch refusing to wear a mask.