Kavanaugh protesters were exercising First Amendment rights
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg defended abortion rights protesters who gathered outside a restaurant where Judge Brett Kavanaugh was dining during an appearance on ‘Fox News Sunday’, saying they were exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Driving the news: Kavanaugh was eating at a restaurant called Morton’s last week when protesters gathered outside the venue and called on the manager to evict Kavanaugh, who joined the Supreme Court’s majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade.
What they say : “When public servants enter public life, we should expect two things. First, you should always be free from violence, harassment and intimidation. And second, you will never be sheltered from criticism or peaceful protest, people exercising their First Amendment rights,” Buttigieg said.
- “That’s what happened in this case. Remember that justice never even came into contact with these demonstrators, would not have seen or heard them,” he added.
- “These protesters are upset because a right, an important right that the majority of Americans support, has been taken away. Not only the right to choose, by the way, but that justice was part of the process of taking away the right to private life. “
- “People are upset. They’re going to exercise their First Amendment rights. As long as it’s peaceful, it’s protected,” Buttigieg added, likening their actions to the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection. “I think common sense can make the difference.”
He was asked if he would be alright with protesters appearing where he and her husband were dining, Buttigieg replied, “Peacefully protesting outside in a public space? Of course.”
- “Look, I can’t even tell you the number of spaces, places and scenarios where I’ve been protested. And the bottom line is this: every public figure should always, always be safe from violence, intimidation and harassment, but should never be immune from criticism or those exercising their First Amendment rights.”
The big picture: Democratic lawmakers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) also reacted to the incident.
- “Poor guy. He left before his blast because he decided half the country would have to risk death if he had an ectopic pregnancy in the wrong state. It’s very unfair to him.” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
- ShutDownDC, a liberal advocacy group in Washington, D.C., is offering up to $250 to service industry workers in the district for each sighting of the judges who helped overturn Roe v. Wade.