Last Updated on July 11, 2022
Pete Buttigieg defended Leftist activists who protested outside a D.C. steakhouse once they heard SCOTUS Justice Brett Kavanaugh was dining inside.
Buttigieg, Biden’s Transportation Secretary, said on Fox News Sunday that Kavanaugh and the other justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade “should expect” these kinds of protests.
“[I’m comfortable with] protesting peacefully outside in a public space…and the bottom line is this: any public figure should always, always be free from violence, intimidation, and harassment, but should never be free from criticism or people exercising their First Amendment rights,” Buttigieg told Fox News’ Mike Emanuel.
However, Buttigieg’s approval and encouragement of such protests may be in contrast to a Department of Justice (DOJ) federal statute.
According to John Daukas, the Former Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the DOJ, these protests are “certainly” illegal.
“It certainly is illegal. And it is right there in the sweet spot of the statute,” Daukas said, referencing 18 U.S. Code § 1507.
Daukas explained the statute, which was established as law in 1950, “is designed exactly to prevent people from intimidating, harassing, or influencing any judge.”
The statute reads:
Whoever, with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty, pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer, or with such intent uses any sound-truck or similar device or resorts to any other demonstration in or near any such building or residence, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
The DOJ established the statute following excessive amounts of public backlash in the wake of rulings concerning Jim Crow laws.
Speaking with Fox News Digital, Daukas contrasted Buttigieg’s perspective, saying, “there is no reason — there’s no legitimate reason — to try to influence a judge by picketing and so forth, because the judge is not supposed to listen to that kind of thing.”
Last Wednesday, a mob of protestors congregated outside a DC steakhouse after hearing SCOTUS Justice Brett Kavanaugh was dining inside.
One pro-abortion activist posted the steakhouse’s phone number on Twitter and encouraged individuals to harass the steakhouse by calling the number to “tell them it’s gross they welcomed Brett Kavanaugh as a diner tonight. Men who take away womens [sic] rights should be shunned.”
The restaurant, Morton’s steakhouse, told Politico that the protestors’ demonstration was “an act of selfishness and void of decency.”
“Politics, regardless of your side or views, should not trample the freedom at play of the right to congregate and eat dinner. There is a time and place for everything. Disturbing the dinner of all of our customers was an act of selfishness and void of decency.”
Along with Pete Buttigieg, his partner Chasten stirred up controversy over his support of the protestors. “Sounds like he just wanted some privacy to make his own dining decisions,” Chasten posted to Twitter, suggesting Kavanugh hurt Americans’ right to privacy by overturning Roe v. Wade.
Former Trump adviser Stephen Miller slammed Chasten Buttigieg for his comment. “Justice Kavanaugh was the recent target of an assassination attempt. Sanctioning the use of mob intimidation tactics against our Justices is wildly irresponsible,” Miller replied on Twitter.
Justice Kavanaugh was the recent target of an assassination attempt. Sanctioning the use of mob intimidation tactics against our Justices is wildly irresponsible.
— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) July 8, 2022
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