by Susan Jones, CNSnews:
“For a judge, precedent is a very important thing,” Judge Neil Gorsuch told the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday. “We don’t go reinvent the wheel every day.”
Gorsuch, who co-wrote a book on legal precedent, told the committee that judges must “start with a heavy, heavy presumption in favor of precedent,” but in “a very few cases,” precedent may be overruled.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley asked Gorsuch about several precedent-setting Supreme Court cases, including the Heller case, where the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms.
“If I asked you to tell me whether Heller was rightly decided, can you answer that for me?”
“Senator, I’d respectfully respond that it is a precedent of the United States Supreme Court. And as a good judge, 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.”
Gorsuch said 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.”
After asking Gorsuch about several other cases, Grassley finally got around to the “case that most people are thinking about right now,” Roe v. Wade.
“Can you tell me whether Roe was decided correctly?” Grassley asked Gorsuch.
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