Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch told senators at his confirmation hearing that he would be reluctant to overturn any decision a previous court has made, including in the landmark Roe vs. Wade case that affirmed the right to abortion. How a nominee might rule on the right to abortion has long been a litmus test at such hearings, and nominees have long declined to provide any concrete assurances. Gorsuch was no different. But faced with Democrats still resentful that former President Obama’s pick for the seat was never granted a hearing, Gorsuch worked hard in day two of questioning Tuesday to present himself as nonpartisan, open-minded and loathe to undo the work of previous courts. “Part of being a good judge is coming in and taking precedent as it stands, and your personal views about precedent have absolutely nothing to do with the job of a good judge,” Gorsuch said amid questioning from committee chairman Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa.) Grassley asked if Gorsuch would consider overturning several historic cases covering gun rights, campaign finance and the controversial Bush vs. Gore ruling that determined the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. “I know some people in this room have some opinions, but as a judge it is a precedent of the Supreme Court and it deserves the same respect as other precedents of the U.S. Supreme Court when coming to it as a judge,” Gorsuch said. Then Grassley got to Roe vs. Wade. He asked whether it was decided correctly. Gorsuch pointed out that not only was Roe vs. Wade precedent, but that it had been reaffirmed several times. “A good judge will consider that precedent worthy as treatment of precedent like any other,” Gorsuch said.
And there was this:
Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch said at his confirmation hearing Tuesday that he would “have walked out the door” had President Donald Trump asked him to overturn the ruling of Roe v. Wade. Facing questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gorsuch was asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, if Trump ever asked him to overturn Roe v. Wade in his interview with the President. After a brief pause, with all eyes on him, Gorsuch responded forcefully, “No … I would have walked out the door,” Gorsuch said. “That’s not what judges do.” …Gorsuch also defended the value of precedent when asked about the controversial abortion law. “Part of the value of precedent — and it has lots of value, it has value in and of itself, because it is our history and our history has value intrinsically. But it also has an instrumental value in this sense: it adds to the determinacy of law,” the judge said. “Once a case is settled, that adds to the determinacy of the law,” Gorsuch added. “What was once a hotly contested issue is no longer a hotly contested issue. We move forward.”