Buttigieg Says Public Officials 'Should Expect' Protests After Kavanaugh Incident


Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is defending demonstrators who protested outside a restaurant where Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was dining.

However, he didn’t stop there.

Buttigieg also suggested that such behavior, as long as it is peaceful, should be expected by public officials.

The exchange comes after Kavanaugh left through the backdoor of a restaurant in Washington, D.C., after protesters found out he was dining there and began demonstrating outside and demanding that he be removed, as IJR reported.

Buttigieg’s husband tweeted in response, ”Sounds like he just wanted some privacy to make his own dining decisions” — an apparent shot at the justice’s vote in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade.

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During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Buttigieg was asked if his husband’s tweet was appropriate.

“Look, when public officials go into public life, we should expect two things: One, that you should always be free from violence, harassment, and intimidation,” he responded.

The secretary added, “And two, you’re never going to be free from criticism or peaceful protest, people exercising their First Amendment rights. And that’s what happened in this case.”

He also pointed out that Kavanaugh “never even came into contact with these protesters.”

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Buttigieg went on:

”And these protesters are upset because a right — an important right — that the majority of Americans support was taken away. Not only the right to choose, by the way, but this justice was part of the process of stripping away the right to privacy.”

It’s worth pointing out that the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe, did not eliminate the right to privacy. Instead, the opinion argued that Roe is ”sharply” distinguished from other cases because it “destroys what Roe termed ‘potential life.’”

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Buttigieg started to wrap up his answer as he said, ”So, yes, people are upset. They’re going to exercise their First Amendment rights. As long as that’s peaceful, that’s protected.”

And then, because of course he did, Buttigieg tried to compare the Kavanaugh incident to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Finally, the secretary said he would be comfortable with people protesting him while he was dining as long as the demonstrations were peaceful.

Aside from the potential disruptions that the other patrons could experience, these kinds of protests are not fair to the business owners and workers who are just trying to make money so they can take care of themselves and their families.

In this case, the group ShutDownDC chose to shame the restaurant for allowing Kavanaugh to dine there. This drags restaurant owners, who may not even really care about politics, into fray and can put them in the unfortunate position of having to decide whether or not to take a side and worrying about sparking outrage that could hurt their business.

In the U.S., we do have a right to protest peacefully, and politicians and public officials should, not be entirely immune from encountering people who wish to express their displeasure.

But they should at least be allowed some time to eat and decompress from their job and not be a burden to the community due to protests.

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