Pete Buttigieg, a former challenger for the Democratic presidential nomination and a member of Joe Biden’s transition team, believes his own marriage is under threat from Donald Trump’s supreme court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Buttigieg, who married his husband Chasten in 2018, indicated that the court’s 2015 decision that made same-sex marriage legal was among a number of rulings a strong conservative majority could look to overturn.
Republicans are seeking to seat Barrett before the 3 November general election. The Senate judiciary committee will vote this week on forwarding the nomination to a full floor vote.
“Right now as we speak the pre-existing condition [healthcare] 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. So many issues are on the line.”
The right to same-sex marriage were enshrined in Obergefell v Hodges, the culmination of a years-long fight incorporating challenges from several states and decided by the landmark 5-4 ruling.
Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said Republicans pushing through Barrett’s nomination days before the election, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, sent the wrong message to voters.
“It’s not in the spirit of our constitution, or our legal system, or political system for them to do this,” he said. “Most Americans believe that the American people ought to have a say. We’re not talking about an election that’s coming up, we’re in the middle of an election, millions of Americans are voting and want their voice to be heard.”
He added: “There’s an enormous amount of frustration that this Senate can’t even bring itself, with Mitch McConnell, to vote through a Covid relief package. People are suffering, people are hurting, there’s no clear end in sight.
“There’s been a bill we brought to them months ago coming out of the house, they won’t touch it, they won’t do anything but suddenly they have time to rush through a nomination that the American people don’t want.
“Whatever specific word you use for it, wrong is the word I would use.”
Buttigieg defended himself against a claim from Wallace that he had talked about expanding the court to 15 justices, so-called court packing.
“My views haven’t changed,” he said. “Bipartisan reform with the purpose of reducing the politicisation of the supreme court is a really promising idea. Let’s also be clear that a president can’t just snap their fingers and do it.”
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