Justices are “within the course of” of getting COVID vaccines; some have obtained each doses

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In year-end report, Roberts praises “unsung heroes” of the pandemic

Posted Wed Jan 13th 2021 9:17 pm by James Romoser

Some Supreme Court justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine, and the court says there are plans for full vaccination of all nine judges.

Kathy Arberg, a spokeswoman for the court, declined to say how many judges (or which ones) have not yet received both doses. However, she confirmed that Roberts was among a group of “some” judges who were given both doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, which required two shots three weeks apart. The news that Roberts had received two cans was first reported by CNN’s Joan Biskupic.

“Precautions have been taken to ensure that all judges receive the vaccine and they are being vaccinated,” Arberg wrote in an email to SCOTUSblog.

In mid-December, as part of a plan to keep the federal government functioning, the Capitol’s attending physician received doses of the vaccine that he administered to congressional leaders and Supreme Court judges.

It is not exactly clear when the vaccine was first made available to the nine judges. Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all received their first doses on December 18. President-elect Joe Biden received his first dose on December 21st and his second dose on Monday, his first dose exactly three weeks later.

Judges tend to be very excited about medical issues, and the coronavirus was no exception. For example, the court has declined to reveal how many times the judges – five of whom are 65 years or older – have been tested for the virus. And Arberg declined to answer a question about why not all judges have received both vaccine doses yet.

According to Arberg, no sedentary judiciary has tested positive for COVID-19. Last fall, when Amy Coney Barrett was tried, the Washington Post reported that Barrett had signed COVID that summer – several months before her appointment and eventual confirmation.

During the pandemic, the judges negotiated orally by phone and for the most part withdrew from the public. Traditionally, the chief judge administers the presidential oath at inaugurations of the president, but it has not yet been announced whether Roberts will take the oath at Biden’s inauguration next Wednesday.

Roberts may also have to lead a Senate case against President Donald Trump, who was indicted by the House of Representatives for the second time during his presidency on Wednesday.

Posted in Featured, What Happens Now?

Recommended citation:
James Romoser, judges are “in the process of receiving” COVID vaccines. some got both doses,
SCOTUSblog (January 13, 2021, 9:17 p.m.), https://www.scotusblog.com/2021/01/justices-are-in-the-process-of-getting-covid-vaccines-some-have-received – Both cans /

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