Gonzales Says Roe Not 'Settled Law' for Roberts as a Supreme Court Justice
US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said that as a Supreme Court Justice, John Roberts would not be bound by precedent on abortion rights as he was as an appeals court judge. Roberts had said during his 2003 hearing to become a judge on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that Roe v. Wade is “settled law,” but Gonzales said in an interview with the Associated Press yesterday, “If you’re asking a circuit court judge, like Judge Roberts was asked, yes, it is settled law because you’re bound by precedent. If you’re a Supreme Court justice, that’s a different question, because a Supreme Court justice is not obliged to follow precedent if you believe it’s wrong.”
“Clearly, Judge Roberts’ answer on Roe v. Wade in his earlier confirmation hearings is meaningless for his Supreme Court nomination,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “Everything we know about Judge Roberts' record thus far indicates that he will be a solid vote against the right to privacy, affirmative action, Title IX, Roe v. Wade, and the list goes on. If he is to be confirmed by senators who support women's rights, he must say where he truly stands on Roe and the right to privacy."