Justice Kavanaugh tests positive for Covid-19

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Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has tested positive for Covid-19, the court said in a news release Friday.

Kavanaugh learned of his test results Thursday evening after being tested earlier in the day as part of the court’s “regular testing protocols” ahead of fellow Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s formal investiture ceremony Friday, the Court said Friday.

Kavanaugh, 56, is experiencing no symptoms currently and has been fully vaccinated since January, the court added. The justice’s wife and daughters also are fully vaccinated and tested negative for Covid-19 on Thursday.

“As a precaution” following his test results, Kavanaugh and his wife will not attend Barrett’s investiture ceremony, the court said — which was scheduled to take place at a special sitting of the court in the courtroom Friday morning.

Attendance at Barrett’s investiture ceremony is by invitation only, although the event will feature pooled press coverage.

All of the court’s justices, including Kavanaugh, previously tested negative for Covid-19 on Monday morning prior to conference, the court said.

The news of Kavanaugh’s positive test results comes after the court announced earlier this month it would resume holding in-person oral arguments when it returned for its fall term in October.

The court made history last May when — due to the dangers posed by the pandemic — it used a conference call to hear arguments from lawyers on a pending case and broadcast its proceedings live.

A court spokesperson did not immediately respond to a question about whether Kavanaugh intends to be present for the arguments scheduled for Monday, which are set to be the first in-person arguments in more than 18 months.

Five of the court’s nine justices are over the age of 65, putting them generally at a higher risk of serious complications or death from Covid-19, according to the CDC.

Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.

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