The justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have taken measures to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus, adding to a growing list of politicians and other high-profile figures in Washington D.C. who have taken similar measures since several vaccines have become available.
According to a court spokesperson, all nine U.S. Supreme Court justices have now officially received their COVID-19 vaccines.
In January, reports first emerged indicating that the nine Supreme Court justices were in the process of being vaccinated. SCOTUS Blog reported at the time that there was a plan in place “for all nine justices to become fully vaccinated.”
“Arrangements have been made for all of the justices to receive the vaccine and they are in the process of getting vaccinated,” one source reportedly said at the time.
Fast-forward a couple of months, and CNBC is reporting that a Supreme Court spokesperson confirmed that the plan has been carried through, saying “all nine justices of the Supreme Court have been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus.”
Unlike a number of politicians who used their first and second vaccination shots for a quick public relations photo-op, none of the nine justices on the high court followed that route, opting instead to receive the shots without much fanfare.
A historical first
It’s certainly not a secret at this point that the elderly population is, by far, the most vulnerable when it comes to contracting the COVID-19 virus.
Some members of the U.S. Supreme Court would be considered a part of that at-risk population. Justice Stephen Breyer, for example, is the court’s oldest member at 82-years-old, placing him squarely on the “most vulnerable” chart.
However, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Justice Samuel Alito, and Justice Clarence Thomas are between the ages of 65 and 74, and like Breyer, are still considered at a higher risk of complications from the COVID-19 virus, should they be unfortunate enough to contract it.
The court’s youngest member is 49-year-old Justice Amy Coney Barret. Rounding out the remainder of the high court’s justices — those who fall between 50 and 65 — are Justices Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh.
Vaccinations are not the only precaution that the members of the Supreme Court have taken against the COVID-19 virus. According to the Washington Times, they have also been holding teleconference hearings rather than in-person hearings, which was noted to be a historical first when the practice began last May.
Despite the justices now being fully vaccinated, it is still expected that the teleconference hearings will continue at least through the end of March. There are currently nine cases scheduled to be heard by utilizing the COVID-19-friendly method from March 22 through March 31.