Judge Neil Gorsuch's defense of the inviolability-of-life principle could provide Democrats a platform to claim that he could oppose abortion rights as a Supreme Court justice and boost their opposition to his confirmation, the Washington Examiner reports.
In a book he wrote on assisted suicide titled: "The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia," Gorsuch said that "the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong" and that if such an act is ever justified by Americans then the most vulnerable people could end up receiving less protection under the law.
During his confirmation hearings before the Senate in 2006 to become a judge on the 10th Circuit Court, Gorsuch insisted his personal views would not affect how he adjudicates cases, the Washington Examiner reported.
Instead, he promised that as a judge he "will reach any question before me with an open mind and listen to the arguments of counsel, the views of my colleagues and prior case law."
And in his book Gorsuch appears to take the same approach, writing that "Under Roe's express holding, a fetus does not qualify as a person."
But Senate Democrats might use the tactic of trying to get Gorsuch to explain when he thinks life begins and if abortion constitutes the "intentional taking of human life" to try and cast him as a danger to Roe v. Wade.
However, Gorsuch appeared ready for such challenges already at the White House, saying after Trump nominated him that "It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people's representatives. A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands."
In any case, AP reports that Gorsuch has left few tracks in his rulings that would lead to a clear prediction as to how he might rule on a particular case.
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