After they found out that donations to their campaign came from lawyers who had represented Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in his confirmation hearings, Pete Buttigieg’s campaign stated they would return the donations.
Alexandra Walsh and Beth Wilkinson, who are partners at the firm Wilkinson Walsh Eskovitz, donated $7,200 and $2,800, respectively, to Buttigieg’s campaign. That fact was brought to light after the Guardian inquired about the donations, as The Washington Examiner reported. The Eaxminer also noted that Buttigieg’s campaign noted it had returned $3,150 of Walsh’s donation because it exceeded limits.
Buttigieg’s campaign released a statement reading, “With nearly 700,000 donors, a contribution we would otherwise refuse sometimes gets through. We believe the women who have courageously spoken out about Brett Kavanaugh’s assault and misconduct, and we thank the Guardian for bringing this contribution to our attention.” A campaign spokesperson asserted, “[Kavanaugh] should have never been put on the Supreme Court, and this campaign will not accept donations from those who played a role in making that happen. Accordingly, we will be returning this contribution and others from this firm.”
The Examiner pointed out that both attorneys have donated to Democrats before; Wilkinson giving $1,000 to Sen. Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign, $2,800 to Sen. Michael Bennet, and $2,800 to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
After the New York Times published a scurrilous claim in September from a former Yale student alleging that Kavanaugh had pushed his penis into a female classmate’s hand, a claim that was later treated with disdain after it was revealed that the article in which the claim appeared excluded the vital detail that the alleged victim did not recall the incident in question, Buttigieg released a statement calling for Kavanaugh to be impeached, stating:
It’s appalling that the GOP curtailed the FBI investigation. This was a Senate confirmation hearing controlled by the Republican majority for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. The American people deserve to know who was involved in that and we must get answers fast as to why witnesses with key information were not interviewed. Kavanaugh should resign and if he doesn’t, the House should impeach him.
Pete Buttigieg calls for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh to resign or be impeached: “Kavanaugh should resign and if he doesn’t, the House should impeach him.”
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/eS8j8zLXtA
— Dan Merica (@merica) September 15, 2019
Also in September, Buttigieg tweeted, “Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is a profile in courage. One year later, I still believe her.”
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is a profile in courage. One year later, I still believe her. pic.twitter.com/ufqGKm7QKr
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) September 27, 2019
Buttigieg has his own plans to revamp how the Supreme Court works. He has stated, “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. 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.”
NBC News reported in June that Buttigieg favored this approach:
Under the plan, most justices would continue serving life terms. Five would be affiliated with the Republican Party and five with the Democratic Party. Those 10 would then join together to choose five additional justices from U.S. appeals courts, or possibly the district-level trial courts. They’d have to settle on the nonpolitical justices unanimously — or at least with a “strong supermajority.” The final five would serve one-year, nonrenewable terms. They’d be chosen two years in advance, to prevent nominations based on anticipated court cases, and if the 10 partisan justices couldn’t agree on the final five, the Supreme Court would be deemed to lack a quorum and couldn’t hear cases that term.