WASHINGTON — During his second day of questioning for his Senate confirmation hearing, Trump U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch said that he accepts Roe v. Wade as the “law of the land” and its opinion that a “fetus is not a person.”
On Wednesday, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked Gorsuch about a sentence in his book “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” in which he concluded that “[a]ll human beings are intrinsically valuable, and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”
“How could you square that statement with legal abortion?” Durbin inquired.
Gorsuch, currently a judge with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, posited that abortion is different because the unborn are not legally recognized as people.
“Senator, as the book explains, the Supreme Court of the United States has held in Roe v. Wade that a fetus is not a person for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment—and that book explains that,” Gorsuch replied.
“Do you accept that?” Durbin asked.
“That’s the law of the land. I accept the law of the land, Senator, yes,” Gorsuch answered firmly.
As previously reported, on Tuesday, Gorsuch told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley that he believes Roe v. Wade is precedent and has been repeatedly reaffirmed, and that “a good judge” should treat it accordingly.
“I think the case most people are thinking about right now and the case that every nominee gets asked about [is] Roe v. Wade. Can you tell me whether Roe was decided correctly?” Grassley asked.
“Senator, … I would tell you that Roe versus Wade, decided in 1973, is the precedent of the United States Supreme Court. It has been reaffirmed,” Gorsuch replied emphatically. “The reliance interest considerations are important there, and all of the other factors that go into analyzing precedent have to be considered.”
“It is a precedent of the United States Supreme Court. It was reaffirmed in Casey in 1992, and in several other cases,” he repeated. “So a good judge will consider it as precedent of the United States Supreme Court, worthy as treatment of precedent like any other.”
When asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to expound on his views regarding precedent, he explained that “once a case is settled, that adds to the determinacy of the law.”
“What was once a hotly contested issue is no longer a hotly contested issue. We move forward,” Gorsuch said.
Feinstein then inquired if he considers Roe v. Wade to be “super-precedent,” meaning that it is so ingrained into the legal system that it would be significantly difficult to overturn.
“It has been reaffirmed 44 times. I can say that,” Gorsuch, known for ruling in favor of the popular craft chain Hobby Lobby, replied.
While some have stated that Gorsuch had to answer in such a manner in order to be confirmed, 2016 America’s Party presidential candidate Tom Hoefling wrote on social media on Thursday that those who claim the name of Christ should proclaim truth no matter the cost.
“The way I look at it, no job is worth having for which you have to hitch your wagon to genocide, and dehumanize tens of millions of innocent little boys and girls, and defy God and nature and the Constitution, and support a coup d’etat by pretending that we live in a judicial oligarchy instead of in a free constitutional republic,” he said.
Hoefling pointed to Christ’s words in Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
“A wink and a nod for the continued mass murder of millions, tens of millions, of little boys and girls is required for confirmation,” he lamented. “A wink and a nod for the continued destruction of the natural family, the way God created it, is now required.”
“The founders of this republic wouldn’t recognize what these people have created,” Hoefling added. “It’s a national disgrace. And it is going to destroy us, and our posterity, if we don’t combat and defeat it.”
As previously reported, Gorsuch is an Episcopalian, and attends St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boulder, Colorado. St. John’s identifies itself as “inclusive” on its website and is led by female minister Susan Springer. In 2013, Springer expressed her support for same-sex “marriage.”
Many Christians stated that their primary reason for voting for Trump as president was because they believed he would appoint justices that would overturn Roe v. Wade. Some had remarked that they desired a judge similar to the late Antonin Scalia.
Scalia, however, noted during his tenure that he opposed both the complete abolition of abortion, as well as requiring legalization. He said that the Constitution does not require a state to ban abortion as he believes the 14th Amendment only applies to those who have been born.
“I will strike down Roe v. Wade, but I will also strike down a law that is the opposite of Roe v. Wade,” Scalia outlined in a 2002 Pew Forum. “You know, both sides in that debate want the Supreme Court to decide the matter for them. One [side] wants no state to be able to prohibit abortion and the other one wants every state to have to prohibit abortion, and they’re both wrong.”
“And indeed, there are anti-abortion people who think that the Constitution requires a state to prohibit abortion. They say that the equal protection clause requires that you treat a helpless human being that’s still in the womb the way you treat other human beings. I think that’s wrong,” Scalia further explained in a 2008 “60 Minutes” interview. “I think when the Constitution says that persons are entitled to equal protection of the laws, I think it clearly means walking-around persons.”