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What Neil Gorsuch Could Mean For Roe V. Wade And The Abortion Debate

The Supreme Court nominee didn't offer any hints about how he would rule on several hot-button issues.
Posted at 5:55 PM, Mar 21, 2017

On day two of his confirmation hearing, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch fielded questions about how he'd handle some of President Trump's more controversial promises.

"Did he ever ask you to overrule Roe v. Wade," Sen. Lindsey Graham asked. 

"No, sir," Gorsuch responded. 

"What would you have done if he had asked?" Graham asked. 

"Senator, I would have walked out the door. … That's not what judges do. They don't do it at that end of Pennsylvania Avenue, and they shouldn't do it at this end, either," Gorsuch replied.

Roe v. Wade is the ruling that affirmed women should be able to get an abortion nationwide. While campaigning, Trump promised to appoint judges who would overturn it. 

Gorsuch didn't go into detail when talking about how he would apply the law in future cases. He did say he had respect for the precedent set by past court decisions, including Roe v. Wade.

Gorsuch is a legal textualist, or someone who takes the words of the Constitution literally, rather than parsing out what the Founding Fathers likely meant. 

He's vying to replace another legal textualist: Antonin Scalia, who previously said Roe v. Wade should be repealed because abortion isn't mentioned in the Constitution.