This article has been updated since its original publication.
Former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says he fears that judge Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court in place of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could put his same-sex marriage at risk.
Speaking with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Buttigieg said that a number of issues hang in the balance if Barrett sits on the Supreme Court, from the Affordable Care Act to his nuptials.
“There are all kinds of interesting questions about the future of the American judiciary, but right now, as we speak, the preexisting condition coverage of millions of Americans might depend on what is about to happen in the Senate with regard to this justice,” Buttigieg said.
“My marriage might depend on what is about to happen in the Senate with regard to this justice,” he added. “So many issues are on the line.”
Buttigieg asserted that “most Americans disagree” with President Trump on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett while deflecting on the issue of potential court packing by Joe Biden if Biden were to seize the White House in November.
“You know, this current president and his supporters, they have a remarkable gift for changing the subject,” Buttigieg said. “We’re not going to let them because we know that the American people are with us on this issue.”
While running for president in 2019, Buttigieg expressed support for expanding the Supreme Court by 15 justices – 5 chosen by Democrats, 5 chosen by Republicans, and the other five chosen by the previous 10.
“The reform of not just expanding the number of members but doing it in a way where some of them are selected on a consensus, nonpartisan basis, it’s a very promising way to do it,” Buttigieg said at the time. “There may be others. But the point is, we’ve got to get out of where we are now, where any time there is an opening, there is an apocalyptic, ideological firefight. It harms the court, it harms the country and it leads to outcomes like we have right now.”
Buttigieg made a name for himself during the Democratic presidential primary due to the possible novelty of becoming the first openly gay candidate for a mainstream political party. Despite winning the Iowa caucus, Buttigieg failed to garner enough support to mount a formidable campaign against Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), partly because of widespread rejection from minority voters. Writing at The Daily Beast, Goldie Taylor argued that black voters simply do not trust Mayor Pete because he previously tried to build coalitions with conservatives.
“I had continued to give him the benefit of the doubt until learning of his past attempt to build a coalition with Tea Party activists — a movement fueled by white supremacy, bigotry and xenophobia in the midst of the Obama administration — as he campaigned for statewide office in Indiana, rather than creating alliances with people of color,” wrote Taylor. “As the Tea Party pledged to ‘take America back,’ setting the stage for Trump’s MAGA campaign, Buttigieg found them worthy partners.”
UPDATE: The original article claimed that Mayor Pete Buttigieg was the first openly gay candidate for a mainstream political party; political activist Fred Karger, however, contends that he was the first openly gay candidate when he ran as a Republican in 2012.
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