Despite President Donald Trump's promises throughout his campaign to appoint a pro-life justice to fill Antonin Scalia's Supreme Court seat, POTUS's nominee Neil Gorsuch made no such promises during his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday.
According to CNN, when Gorsuch was asked by Republican senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina about whether President Trump had ever asked him to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that established a woman's right to abortion, he offered a surprising (but also relatively vague) answer.
"Senator, I would have walked out the door," Gorsuch said. "It's not what judges do."
— CNN (@CNN) March 21, 2017
While Gorsuch declined to speak about his personal views on the issue, he later added that the decision set a precedent that has been reaffirmed many times.
"A good judge will consider it as precedent of the Supreme Court, worthy of treatment of precedent as any other," Gorsuch said. "If I were to tell you which are my favorite precedents or which are my least favorite precedents, I would be tipping my hand and suggesting to litigants that I have already made up my mind about their cases."
While Gorsuch's answers give us hope that his appointment won't necessarily be a death sentence for Roe v. Wade, they also don't necessarily mean he'll be particularly women-friendly either. While he doesn't have much of a record on abortion rights, Cosmopolitan points out that in the 2014 Burwell v. Hobby Lobby ruling, Gorsuch sided with employers that sought to decide based on religious beliefs whether employee health insurance covered contraception - which presents a major red flag when it comes to how he may handle reproductive rights issues in general.