coronavirus

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh Tests Positive for Covid, Days Before New Term Begins

Erin Schaff | Pool | Reuters
  • Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has tested positive for the coronavirus, the court said Friday, just three days before its next term is set to begin.
  • Kavanaugh, 56, is showing no symptoms of the virus, the court said. He has been fully vaccinated against Covid since January.
  • Kavanaugh and his wife will not attend a Friday morning investiture ceremony for Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the newest member of the court, the court said.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has tested positive for the coronavirus, the court said Friday, just three days before its next term is set to begin.

Kavanaugh, 56, is showing no symptoms of the virus, the court said. He has been fully vaccinated against Covid since January.

As a precaution, Kavanaugh and his wife will not attend a Friday morning investiture ceremony, when the court will receive Justice Amy Coney Barrett's commission as the newest addition to the bench, according to a press release.

On Wednesday, Kavanaugh participated in a three-mile charity road race in Washington.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh crosses the finish line during the ACLI Capital Challenge 3 Mile Team Race in Anacostia Park on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.
Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh crosses the finish line during the ACLI Capital Challenge 3 Mile Team Race in Anacostia Park on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

The court's statement did not indicate Kavanaugh's test result would affect the start of the new term Monday. The nine justices are set to hear oral arguments in person, 19 months after the pandemic forced their proceedings to be held virtually.

A spokeswoman for the court did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.

Covid poses a greater health threat to older adults. Stephen Breyer, the oldest member of the court, is 83. Three justices — Breyer, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito — are at least in their 70s. Barrett, at 49, is the youngest justice.

All nine justices had been vaccinated against the virus by March.

Kavanaugh took a Covid test Thursday in advance of Barrett's investiture ceremony, the court said. That evening, Kavanaugh was told he had tested positive.

All justices, including Kavanaugh, on Monday morning had tested negative before a private conference in which they discussed adding new cases to the docket, the court said.

Kavanaugh's wife and daughters also tested negative on Thursday, according to the court.

Read the court's full statement below:

On Thursday, per the Court's regular testing protocols, Justice Kavanaugh had a routine Covid test ahead of Justice Barrett's investiture on Friday. On Thursday evening, Justice Kavanaugh was informed that he had tested positive for Covid-19. He has no symptoms and has been fully vaccinated since January. Per current Court testing protocols, all of the Justices were tested Monday morning prior to conference, and all tested negative, including Justice Kavanaugh. Justice Kavanaugh's wife and daughters are also fully vaccinated, and they tested negative on Thursday. As a precaution, Justice and Mrs. Kavanaugh will not attend Justice Barrett's investiture this morning.

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