Gorsuch: Roe Is a Precedent – Precedent Can Be Overruled, But You Start With a ‘Heavy Presumption in Favor of Precedent’

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During his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch stated of Roe v. Wade, “a good judge will consider it as precedent of the United States Supreme Court, worthy as treatment of precedent like any other.” He also said that in general, “You start with a heavy, heavy presumption in favor of precedent. … And yes, in a very few cases, you may overrule precedent.” Gorsuch was asked about the value of precedent. He started by saying he hasn’t made any promises on how he would rule, and doesn’t think it’s appropriate to do so. He continued, “One of the facts, one of the features of law that you have to decide it on is on the basis of precedent, as you point out. And for a judge, precedent is a very important thing. We don’t go reinvent the wheel every day, and that’s the equivalent point of the law of precedent.” He further stated that the age of the precedent, the “reliance interest” built up around it, whether it has been reaffirmed, whether the doctrine around it has been built up, and its workability are important factors in evaluating precedent. He added, “You start

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