Gorsuch: I accept Roe v. Wade as ‘the law of the land’

Gorsuch: I accept Roe v. Wade as ‘the law of the land’
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, told Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Pelosi, Mnuchin push stimulus talks forward, McConnell applies brakes Schumer says he had 'serious talk' with Feinstein, declines to comment on Judiciary role Durbin signals he isn't interested in chairing Judiciary Committee MORE (D-Ill.) that he accepts the landmark Supreme Court case establishing a right to abortion “as the law of the land.”

Gorsuch has never ruled directly on abortion rights, but liberal groups assume he would be hostile to continued access to abortion rights because of a book he authored on euthanasia.

In “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” Gorsuch wrote, “The intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”


On day three of Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Durbin demanded he explain how he could square that statement with the legal right to an abortion.

“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 14th Amendment and the book explains that,” Gorsuch answered.

“Do you accept that?” Durbin asked.

“I accept the law of the land, senator, yes,” Gorsuch replied.

On Tuesday, the landmark case on abortion rights came up several times.

Gorsuch told members of the committee that President Trump never asked him to overturn Roe v. Wade, in response to a question from Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHillicon Valley: Threatening emails raise election concerns | Quibi folds after raising nearly B | Trump signs law making it a crime to hack voting systems Trump signs legislation making hacking voting systems a federal crime Jaime Harrison on Lindsey Graham postponing debate: 'He's on the verge of getting that one-way ticket back home' MORE (R-S.C.).

Graham asked the federal appellate judge if he had ever met Trump personally. Gorsuch said he had not, until his interview for the nomination.

“In that interview did he ever ask you to overrule Roe v. Wade?” Graham asked.

When Gorsuch said no, Graham asked what he would have done if Trump had asked that question.  

“Senator, I would have walked out the door,” Gorsuch replied. “It’s not what judges do. I don’t do it at that end of Pennsylvania Avenue and they shouldn’t do it at this end either, respectfully.”