Out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said yesterday that he’s worried that abortion will be just the first right to be overturned by the Supreme Court as a larger civil rights regression starts in the U.S.
“I don’t think it stops at Roe,” he said at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference, referring to a leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that showed that the Court will overturn Roe v. Wade and end the federal right to an abortion in the U.S.
“The broader question that is before us now is did we live to see the high-water mark of rights and freedoms in this country?” Buttigieg asked.
Buttigieg has said many times in the past that his family wouldn’t exist without the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 decision that legalized marriage equality. He and his husband Chasten adopted two children last year.
Obergefell was decided based on the 14th Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses using similar arguments about personal liberty as Roe used. In fact, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the leaked draft that Obergefell was one of many decisions based on the same faulty – in his opinion – reasoning as Roe.
“None of these rights has any claim to being deeply rooted in history,” Alito wrote.
“The fact that the very existence of our household, at least legally speaking, came about by the margin of a single vote on the Supreme Court, has you really thinking at a moment like this about the personal stakes of what appears to be a continued push to roll back rights,” Buttigieg said Wednesday.
“That’s obviously close to home for the LGBTQ community,” Buttigieg later told the Detroit News. “It’s close to home for a lot of people.”
“It’s also in the context of decisions that have happened even before the court had its current makeup that affected the strength of our voting rights,” he continued. “Really, really important things are at stake here.”
Buttigieg’s words echo those of President Joe Biden, who has said on multiple occasions that he thinks the Supreme Court – with three justices selected by Donald Trump after the Obergefell decision was handed down – isn’t going to stop at abortion.
“What happens,” Biden said last month, if “a state changes the law saying that children who are LGBTQ can’t be in classrooms with other children? Is that legit under the way the decision is written?”