There has been a lot of hype surrounding President Trump’s nomination for supreme court justice, Neil Gorsuch. Now while there are many issues that he and any future nominee would face, one of the major issues will be about abortion. While there are many people who want it to stay permissible, there is a huge move to abandon the abhorrent practice. President Trump himself has even said that he wants it banned.
According to a recent story, Gorsuch said that he “would be willing to stand up to President Trump” on issues that he disagrees with, calling it a “softball question.” Right after, interestingly, he was asked after about abortion, in which he answered the question of whether or not he would give an answer on abortion if Trump asked him, saying “I would have walked out.”
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch faced 10 hours of questioning by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
Try as they might, Democrats couldn’t land a punch against Gorsuch when it came to eliciting his views on specific issues or cases — past, present or future.
As his allies had predicted, the federal appeals court judge adhered closely to the “Ginsburg standard,” coined after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s insistence in her 1993 hearing to offer “no forecasts, no hints” about her positions on cases that might come before the court.
Abortion rights? No direct answer. Gun restrictions? Nope. Money in politics? Not for him to say. The same applied to virtually any topic Democrats broached.
One question Gorsuch was eager to answer: Would he be independent as a justice, even willing to vote against the president who nominated him? Yes, he said, calling it a “softball question.”
Nor did he have any problem denying the use of litmus tests in his nomination. “I wasn’t about to become a party to such a thing,” he said. If Trump had asked for his view on Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion, he said later, “I would have walked out the door.”
The answers — about the most definitive Gorsuch gave during hours of testimony — served to silence Democrats on what had promised to be fertile ground, given the president’s many controversial statements and tweets. At least for a few hours anyway. (source)
How interesting. If “standing up” to the president is such a “softball question” and so easily answered, why would he not answer the question of whether or not he supports abortion or not, because he basically has three answers he can give- yes, I completely support it; yes, I support it in (x) cases; or no, I do not support abortion. Why would his answer matter on this issue if it was merely a difference of opinion?
Now add to this the fact that the New York Times has the following and interesting article about his views on abortion, euthanasia, and death:
Judge Neil M. Gorsuch has written little about abortion, and we do not know whether he would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established abortion as a fundamental right. But he has expressed a position on two related subjects, assisted suicide and euthanasia. In his Oxford dissertation and a later book, he defended the inviolability of human life. He rejected the role of states in granting the terminally ill a right to die and offered a legal framework that could be applied to abortion.
Judge Gorsuch, who is President Trump’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death last year, argued in both his dissertation and his book, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” that the Constitution requires banning doctor-assisted suicide and euthanasia nationwide, with a few possible exceptions. He asserted that allowing these practices in any state would violate the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection. Such a law would treat “the lives of different persons quite differently” by prohibiting the murder of the healthy while allowing the killing of the sick, he wrote.
Judge Gorsuch has clearly thought long and hard about matters of life and death. Would he extrapolate to abortion his views on assisted suicide or euthanasia? It’s not clear. In his dissertation, his limited remarks on Roe are skeptical; he calls its logic a “hodgepodge of doctrines and theories” and refers to abortion as a “nontextual right,” meaning it has no basis in the text of the Constitution. However, as Amy Howe of Scotusblog noted recently, he “has not ruled on any cases directly involving abortion during his 10 years” as an appeals court judge.
But he has had much to say in his writings about human personhood and the inviolability of life, views that are worth exploring. What gives individuals such an inviolable right, he has reasoned, is a status that legal scholars call “constitutional personhood,” defined by the 14th Amendment. Under that amendment, a state is prohibited from denying any constitutional person “life, liberty or property, without due process of law,” and cannot “deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The Roe decision expressly excluded human fetuses from that definition. As the court put it in 1973, “the word ‘person,’ as used in the 14th Amendment, does not include the unborn.” But if the Supreme Court were ever to recognize fetuses as constitutional persons, however unlikely that might seem now, then under Judge Gorsuch’s framework, the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause would require that they be entitled to the same legal protection as constitutional persons. Laws that prohibit murder thus would have to be extended to them.
Judge Gorsuch has said as much himself. In his book, he wrote, “Abortion would be ruled out by the inviolability-of-life principle I intend to set forth if, but only if, a fetus is considered a human life.” He noted that had the court “found the fetus to be a ‘person’ for purposes of the 14th Amendment, it could not have created a right to abortion because no constitutional basis exists for preferring the mother’s liberty interests over the child’s life.” (source)
This is precisely what I was concerned would happen.
The fact is that Mr. Gorsuch’s views on this matter are unclear and he will not give an answer to them. he will suggest ‘the inviolability of life’ on one hand, while at the same time he will also suggest that abortion is permissible ‘within a given framework’ and then will not answer if a child is considered a human being or not. This all includes the fact that he will not give a clear answer about abortion at all.
Even his views on euthanasia are even more interesting, for has he himself notes, the right to life is something called “constitutional personality,” suggesting the idea that a man’s right to life comes from the constitution as opposed to being articulated by the constitution. In other words, the suggestion of the idea that a man’s rights come from the government granting them through its laws as opposed to being intrinsic and that the laws of men, while imperfect, are meant to reflect as best as possible the natural law.
Yet while nobody can get a straight answer from Mr. Gorsuch, the “pro-life” movement has already been proudly saying that Gorsuch is a ‘staunch defender of life’ who needs to be confirmed immediately:
Judge Neil Gorsuch deserves “swift confirmation” to the U.S. Supreme Court, leaders of pro-life and pro-family groups have said.
“Neil Gorsuch has proven himself to be a defender of the most basic human rights,” said the March 20 letter, organized by the Susan B. Anthony List and addressed to U.S. senators.
The letter cited Gorsuch’s book, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, in which he said, “Human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable, and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”
More than 50 leaders signed the letter, including representatives of the Susan B. Anthony List, Live Action, National Right to Life, Students for Life and state pro-life and pro-family groups.
They praised Gorsuch as an intelligent and fair-minded nominee with a fitting temperament, citing his 2006 unanimous confirmation by the Senate to his current seat on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“We believe that Judge Gorsuch’s thoughtful opinions illuminate how he would decide difficult questions on the Supreme Court,” the letter said. (source)
How can these groups call his opinions thoughtful and laud them when they raise more questions than answering them, giving unclear and contradictory statements as responses? If anything, the “pro life” groups should be demanding explanation of his positions and clear answers in the same way that the liberals demand such from the people they nominate to court or support in politics.
Gorsuch is giving such vague answers because, as we have said before, this is an issue of power and policy. While there are many people in America who are good, there is a long history of eugenics in this country going back to the earliest days. Abortion is simply another form of eugenics through which “undesirable” people are allowed to murder their own children. Those who rule this country have no desire to see it change. While Gorsuch may be a powerful man if he becomes a judge, as I have said before, the US is ultimately an oligarchy that is controlled by financial and industrial interests who use the government to pass laws to favor themselves and their interests, and while Gorsuch is an individual, he will still be beholden to them and will have to contend against their interests just as many people have pointed out that Trump, although president, has had to contend against many interests in his own cabinet and military. At the end of the day, just like with all of these individuals, should he receive power he is not going to want to just abandon it, and the way to do that is to keep “running” the machine, since if he does not comply he will be replaced. Individuals change, but the policies do not.
Likewise, this is another reflection of the true state of the “pro-life” movement. While there are many good people involved in it, the fact is that the “pro-life” movement is not interested in eliminating abortion because those at the higher levels have made careers “fighting abortion” and with it lucrative salaries. To stop abortion means to stop the businesses they have build around it, and in turn means losing money for them and ultimately, to have to find another job. For their purposes, it is in their interests to keep abortion legal so they have a reason to keep fighting it so that they can keep their businesses alive. Again, I emphasize this is not the case for most of the individuals, especially on the lower levels who are part of this, but for those who are in the higher levels of the major “life” organizations. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that they would support Gorsuch, for if Gorsuch cannot give a clear answer and his statements move with the spirit of the times, then policy will continue as normal with the usual tensions between the “pro-choice” and “pro-life” people without any actual progress being made except to expand abortion in new and more interesting ways as technology progresses.
Abortion is evil. There is no getting around that fact. It is also something that many people- for personal, business, and political reasons- really do want. However, they do not want to deal with the realities of this evil or address it directly, preferring instead to avoid the question or adopt tangental measures to deal with or control a limited number of the effects that are caused by the problem. Certainly while no sin can be completely eliminated from anywhere, it certainly can be controlled and greatly reduced, especially something as serious as abortion. It is not that America has the capacity, but it is that it does not want to do this, and that is why Gorsuch would make such a fitting judge. For if politicians and judges reflect the nature of the people, then Gorsuch’s refusal to answer a basic question while answering it and not answering in other ways on such a fundamental matter as abortion is just a reflection of what the average man has become today.