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 DurbinSchumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever Senators take fundraising efforts to Nats playoff games Overnight Health Care: Watchdog finds DEA allowed more opioids even as overdose deaths rose | Judge temporarily blocks Georgia abortion law | Three states report more vaping deaths | Dem proposes new fix for surprise medical bills 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.”

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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 GrahamCheney unveils Turkey sanctions legislation Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — House passes resolution rebuking Trump over Syria | Sparks fly at White House meeting on Syria | Dems say Trump called Pelosi a 'third-rate politician' | Trump, Graham trade jabs War of words at the White House 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.”