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- Politico published a photo and wrongly identified one of the people at a dinner with Democratic lawmakers as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The publication later corrected the mistake, but the misinformation continues to spread online.
On Jan. 8, Politico published a photo from a tipster that it described as showing Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at dinner the night before with a group of Democrats: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Dick Durbin.
Later that day, the publication corrected the record: It wasn’t Sotomayor, who that morning heard arguments in a hearing concerning the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates. It was Iris Weinshall, Schumer’s wife and chief operating officer of the New York Public Library.
But several days later, the misinformation lingered online.
"Justice Sotomayor, who participated in yesterday’s SCOTUS arguments remotely from her chambers, seen last night at Le Diplomate with Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Sens. Klobuchar and Durban, per Politico," one Jan. 8 Facebook post said. "They are all laughing at us."
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
In an editor’s note, Politico issued a mea culpa: "Politico standards require we verify this information. The editor who received the tip failed to do so in this case. We deeply regret the error."
In the photo in question, someone with dark hair — like Sotomayor and Weinshall have — can be seen sitting at a table with their back to the camera next to Klobuchar, who is turned around and facing the camera.
A spokesperson for Schumer told the Associated Press that Sotomayor wasn’t at the dinner.
We rate claims that Sotomayor is the person in the picture False.
Facebook post, Jan. 8, 2022
Politico, Civil rights leaders see a turning point for Biden, Jan. 8, 2022
Politico, POLITICO Playbook: Civil rights leaders see a turning point for Biden, Jan. 8, 2022
The Associated Press, Justice Sotomayor didn’t attend dinner with Democratic leadership, Jan. 9, 2022
The New York Times, Supreme Court’s Conservative Majority Appears Skeptical of Biden’s Virus Plan, Jan. 7, 2022
The Guardian, DC media makes meal of supposed Sotomayor restaurant sighting, Jan. 9, 2022
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