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Gorsuch: Supreme Court Precedent is the Law of the Land

— On Tuesday, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch faced questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning Roe v. Wade and legal precedent. Gorsuch is reported to be a pro-life judge. In January, reported that “Gorsuch, 49, is a favorite of social conservatives because of his pro-life views and his record defending religious liberty.”  However, Gorsuch has consistently answered the Committee showing strong support for legal precedent and affirming that Roe is a part of that precedent, showing no interest in overturning Roe.

Sen. Chuck Grassley asked Gorsuch about precedent and past cases, in response to which Gorsuch said, “It is a precedent of the United States Supreme Court. You don’t approach that question anew, as if it had never been decided. That would be a wrong way to approach it. My personal views, I’d also tell you, Mr. Chairman, belong over here — I leave those at home. Part of being a good judge is coming in and taking precedent as it stands. And your personal views about the precedent have absolutely nothing to do with the good job of a judge.”

When asked by Sen. Grassley whether or not Roe was decided correctly, Gorsuch gave a non-answer saying, “I would tell you that Roe v. Wade decided in 1973 is a precedent of the United States Supreme Court. It has been reaffirmed and reliance interest considerations are important there, and all 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. So, a good judge will consider it as precedent of the United States Supreme Court worthy as treatment of precedent like any other.”

Later, Sen. Dianne Feinstein stated that Roe had “super precedent,” noted that President Trump said he would appoint someone who would overturn Roe, and recounted that while in her office, Gorsuch told her that he “viewed precedent in a serious way, in that it added stability to the law.” She then asked him to elaborate on his view of precedent. Gorsuch replied 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.”

Sen. Feinstein asked Gorsuch if he views Roe as having “super precedent,” a term Feinstein has since been criticized for inventing. Whether or not the idea is legitimate, this terminology was used during the confirmation hearings of Judge John Roberts. It is the idea that a decision becomes so ingrained in law that it should be particularly hard to overturn. The idea’s origin seems to stem from the opinion of J. Michael Luttig, a member of the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2000, Luttig wrote, “I understand the Supreme Court to have intended its decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey to be a decision of super-stare decisis with respect to a woman’s fundamental right to choose whether or not to proceed with a pregnancy.” Gorsuch did not answer as to whether Roe is “super precedent” or “super-stare decisis,” but did reply that “it has been reaffirmed many times, I can say that.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked Gorsuch about his involvement in the 2016 case, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah v. Herbert. Subsequent to the ruling, Gorsuch attempted to initiate an en banc rehearing of the case, sua sponte,1 and Sen. Blumenthal wanted to know why. Gorsuch answered, “It’s all about standards of review for me.” He distanced himself from the idea that the move had to do with abortion saying, “In that case, the parties agreed on law. It was no dispute of law. In that case, everyone agreed that if the governor had discontinued funding because he opposed lawful abortions that that would be unconstitutional and wrong and would have to be stricken by the court. That was uncontested.”

Supreme Court Precedent is what killed a 2016 initiative petition in Oklahoma to criminalize abortion as murder. T. Russell Hunter, who filed and defended the petition, summed up the ruling saying that “they ruled with precedent instead of constitutionality in mind.”

On Wednesday, Gorsuch was questioned by Sen. Dick Durbin on how his book, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, squares with abortion. Gorsuch answered, “the book explains that the Supreme Court of the United States, in Roe v. Wade, [decided that] a fetus is not a person for purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment.” Sen. Durbin asked Gorsuch if he accepts that decision. Gorsuch responded, “That is the law of the land and I accept the law of the land.” The idea that judicial opinion is the supreme law of the land is contrary to the principle that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land, as the Constitution itself states in Article VI.

Abolitionist Tony Dipane criticized Gorsuch, writing:

I am hearing so many say that Neil Gorsuch’s unwillingness to give a straight answer on whether or not he would overturn Roe v Wade was because he was not in the court when he was asked and that he should be ‘unbiased’.

A judge is biased toward justice, if he is a good judge, and biased against injustice. If a judge has to wait until they are in a black robe, surrounded by 8 others dressed like him, with armed guards at every door, and behind a bench inside a massive monument to even consider that a 45 year-old public on-the-books ruling allowing murdering unborn human beings is wrong and therefore should be overturned, that judge isn’t worth his robe weight. Such a judge should be removed from his/her position and stripped of every degree and title immediately for proven incompetency, at a minimum. 

In reality, Gorsuch is a coward and a judicial supremacist like all before him. The road to justice is not paved with pragmatism and double-talk; it is paved with the death of egos, the trampling of idols, and the repentance of a nation.

Scott Herndon, host of Abolitionist Radio, reacted similarly to Gorsuch’s testimony, saying that “we find out US Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch would never defy Roe v. Wade. He is a judicial supremacist. Yet, less than four years from now Christians and their pastors will be stumbling all over each other in their abject stupidity to re-elect another Republican while saying the country is on the line, and it’s all about the Supreme Court.”

In contrast, pro-lifer Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, sent out an email claiming that “left-wing billionaire George Soros and Planned Parenthood have schemed to stop this pro-life justice from reaching the nation’s highest court,” and asked for donations of $25, $38, or $50 to help support Gorsuch.

Unless Neil Gorsuch is just repeatedly lying through his teeth before the Senate committee, he is clearly a judicial supremacist committed to preserving the lawless system of oppression that rules our land. He does not sound like a man seeking to establish justice for preborn human beings in accordance with the Constitution of the United States, Declaration of Independence, and Higher Law of God, but a man poised to put off the abolition of human abortion until some far off future date. In this way, Gorsuch is completely in sync with the pro-life establishment and everything they have been demanding for the past few decades. In this way, Gorsuch is not an abolitionist.

Regardless of whether Gorsuch ends up on the bench, abolitionists will continue to maintain that the Supreme Court does not make laws and when they rule contrary to the supreme law of the land, the Constitution, they are to be ignored and defied.


  1. Gorsuch was not on the panel for the original decision.  Sua sponte means that Gorsuch initiated the motion for rehearing of his own accord, and not at the request of either party to the case.