Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican, tried to elicit Roberts' position on the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion. Would he abide by "stare decisis," the doctrine that says justices should honor previous court rulings?Forgive me for being a casual viewer, but it is not clear to me how we show that Roe is proven either unworkable, or eroded by subsequent developments.
"Yes, Mr. Chairman, I would," Roberts replied. "To avoid an arbitrary discretion in the judges, they need to be bound down by rules and precedent." He declared Roe v Wade "settled as a precedent," and said overturning high court rulings creates "a jolt to the legal system."
A casual viewer might think he had ruled out overturning the 1973 abortion ruling. Not so.
In sentences thick with legalese, Roberts said precedents must be overturned when they are proven "unworkable" or "eroded by subsequent developments." He refused at least three times to give his views on Roe v. Wade, citing a long tradition of judges not commenting on cases they might consider in the future.
It appears the Democrats are keeping their powder dry until the hearings for the next nominee.
Why we never need to worry about hearing the phrase "President Joe Biden:"
I'd like to explore that philosophy a little bit, because you got asked that question by Senator Hatch about what is your philosophy, and the baseball metaphor was used again. As you know, in Major League Baseball, they have a rule. Rule 2 defines the strike zone. It basically says from the shoulders to the knees. And the only question about judges is, do they have good eyesight or not. They don't get to change the strike zone. [emphasis added]Pardon me, Sen. Clueless Joe, the top of the strike zone technically is the horizontal midline between the top of the pants and the top of the shoulders, commonly referred to as THE LETTERS.
(cap tip: Hugh Hewitt)