During the Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings Tuesday, the Supreme Court nominee told lawmakers President Trump never asked him to overturn Roe v. Wade.
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly vowed to nominate a judge who would overturn the landmark 1973 abortion-rights decision, but Gorsuchdenied being a pawn for Trump during confirmation hearings.
WhenSen.Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina,point-blank asked the Appellate Court judge whether the president asked him to overturn the decision, Gorsuch said, “No… I would have walked out the door. That’s not what judges do.”
Graham: Did Trump ask you if you’d overturn Roe v. Wade?
Gorsuch: “No … I would have walked out the door.” https://t.co/8K11KoaozQ
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) March 21, 2017
During another line of questioning with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, Gorsuch indicated he was also a believer in precedent.
“We have a fact-finding process and judicial system that’s the envy of the world and precedent is a key part of that,” Gorsuch said. “Once a case is settled, that adds to the determinacy of the law.What was once a hotly contested issue is no longer a contested issue. We move forward.”
Earlier in the hearing, Gorsuch denied making any promises to Trump before accepting the Supreme Court nomination.
“You should be reassured, no one in the process from the time I was contacted to the time I was nominated, no one asked me for any commitments in any kind of case,” Gorsuch said, responding to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman to the Committee on Judiciary.
Gorsuch told lawmakers he would be a fair judge.
“I can’t guarantee you more than that, but I can promise you absolutely nothing less,” he said.
Democrats have promised pushback on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee after Republicans’ refused to hold hearings for then President Barack Obama’s nominee, JudgeMerrick Garland, following the death of Antonin Scalia last year.