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Justice Kavanaugh Tests Positive for COVID on Eve of Barrett Investiture

October 1, 2021 by Dan McCue
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh stands before a ceremonial swearing-in in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh has tested positive for the coronavirus, the court announced Friday. 

In a brief statement, court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe said the 56-year-old justice has been fully vaccinated since January and that he was not showing any symptoms of the virus.

Kavanaugh was tested on Thursday in anticipation of his attending the ceremonial investiture of Justice Amy Coney Barrett at the court on Friday morning.

“Justice Kavanaugh’s wife and daughters are also fully vaccinated, and they tested negative on Thursday,” McCabe said. “As a precaution, Justice and Mrs. Kavanaugh will not attend Justice Barrett’s investiture.”

All of the justices were tested on Monday morning before a private conference that formally brought an end to their summer break.

“All tested negative, including Justice Kavanaugh,” McCabe said.

Justice Barrett was sworn in as the 103rd associate justice of the Supreme Court on October 27, 2020. Her investiture this morning is purely ceremonial, the delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For those unfamiliar with the investiture ceremony, this morning’s event began with Justice Barrett being escorted into the well of the Supreme Court’s courtroom, where she sat in the same chair used by Chief Justice John Marshall during the early 19th century. 

The chair has been used for the investiture of every member of the Court since Lewis Powell, Jr., took his Judicial Oath in 1972.

Gail Curley, the Court’s Marshal, then rapped the gavel and introduce the Chief Justice and

Associate Justices with the Court’s traditional “cry””

“Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! All persons having business before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the Court is now sitting.”

The justices then took their places on the bench.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Acting Solicitor General Brian Fletcher were seated at the counsel table in front of the bench, and Monaco moved to Justice Barrett’s commission read by the clerk.

Justice Barrett was then escorted to the bench, where Chief Justice John Roberts administered the Judicial Oath, with the court clerk standing between them holding a Bible. 

After the oath, Chief Deputy Marshal Richard Nelson escorted Barrett to her seat on the far right of the bench.

The special session adjourned shortly after she took her seat for the first time.

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