The Advice on Abortion Judge Gorsuch Needs to Hear

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Prof. Gerry Bradley of Notre Dame Law School has a column today at National Review repudiating recent arguments that Neil Gorsuch should answer boldly on overturning Roe v. Wade during his Senate confirmation hearings.

Prof. Bradley argues:

For him to become the first nominee in living memory to reveal his mind about Roe would mark him — now, with some reason — as strikingly imprudent, injudicious, beyond not just the “mainstream” but the norm altogether. It would almost certainly end his confirmation chances.

While I love contrarian and aggressive ideas for their potential to bring about impressive change, I have to admit that I agree with Prof. Bradley here. Supreme Court confirmation hearings are not craps tables for us to roll the dice hoping for a great payout. If anything, prudence and history should be our guide to avoid the great booby traps being set by the Democratic Party.

Gorsuch cannot afford to lose any support in the Senate if he hopes to be confirmed. But if he were to suggest that he’s already made up his mind and will rule in favor of overturning Roe, he will most definitely lose the support of Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) based on that issue alone.

Plus, there’s no telling how many other GOP senators might refuse to support him based on his perceived temperament and prudence resulting from this type of aggressive action.

The most important thing for Judge Gorsuch to do is to make a strong case that he will be an impartial judge that will listen to both sides in each case and rely upon the Constitution and the original intent of the founders — similar to how Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas handled their hearings.

Prof. Bradley makes a very strong case, and you should be sure to read his full column here.


Terry Schilling

Terry Schilling is executive director of the American Principles Project.