A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Well, that's interesting

Yahoo News: AG: High Court Not Bound by Roe V. Wade

WASHINGTON - The legal right to abortion is settled for lower courts, but the Supreme Court "is not obliged to follow" the Roe v. Wade precedent, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday as the Senate prepared to consider John Roberts' appointment that would put a new vote on the high court.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Gonzales said a justice does not have to follow a previous ruling "if you believe it's wrong," a comment suggesting Roberts would not be bound by his past statement that the 1973 decision settled the issue. (emphasis added)
That could certainly have wide-ranging consequences.
Gonzales said circumstances had changed since Roberts commented on Roe v. Wade during his 2003 confirmation hearing for the seat he now holds on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

"If you're asking a circuit court judge, like Judge Roberts was asked, yes, it is settled law because you're bound by the precedent," Gonzales said.

"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," Gonzales said.