Gonzales: High Court Not Bound by Roe v. Wade

AG: High Court Not Bound by Roe v. Wade (AP)

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.

It’s unclear why Alberto Gonzales is being questioned on this, but I link this story because the fact that it is presented as news is appalling; James said it as well as it can be said: “While stare decisis [to stand by what is decided] is at the heart of the Common Law system, it should not constrain Supreme Court Justices from reversing obvious error in Constitutional interpretation. The Constitution, not the body of Court rulings, is the supreme law of the land.”

In other words, every sentient being in America should understand that the “high court is not bound by Roe v. Wade,” just as they are not bound by any other Supreme Court decision. The Constitution is sovereign, not the Court.

James’ original post here: How Much Should Precedent Bind Judges.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, , , ,
Leopold Stotch
About Leopold Stotch
“Dr. Leopold Stotch” was the pseudonym of political science professor then at a major research university inside the beltway. He has a PhD in International Relations. He contributed 165 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and February 2006.


  1. Leopold Stotch says:

    So no one beats me to it:

    I guess this means that Democrats aren’t sentient beings …

  2. Herb says:

    Wouldn’t you know it, Lawyers have fixed the “Law” so they don’t have to obey it.

    I guess that is why Justice Kennedy violated the “Palm Sunday Law” and got away with it.

    Leave it to a Lawyer !!!!!!!

  3. RiverRat says:

    Yah Sure.

    Every sentient being that doesn’t get their education from MTV and news from talking points emailed to the MSM by NARAL which, in all liklihood, is about 20% the population and 30% of voters.

    Unfortunately, as you well know, sentience has no link to knowledge.

  4. legion says:

    Lemme get this straight… the Senate can’t ask a SCOTUS candidate about his views on RvW, but the AG can talk all he wants about that candidate’s views… huh?

  5. Lt bell says:





  6. wavemaker says:

    While stare decisis was discussed by the majority in Planned Parenthood v. Casey as a reason why they ruled as they did, Rehnquist’s dissent on that subject is masterful:

    “The joint opinion …cannot bring itself to say that Roe was correct as an original matter, but the authors are of the view that the immediate question is not the soundness of Roe’s resolution of the issue, but the precedential force that must be accorded to its holding. Instead of claiming that Roe was correct as a matter of original constitutional interpretation, the opinion therefore contains an elaborate discussion of stare decisis. This discussion of the principle of stare decisis appears to be almost entirely dicta, because the joint opinion does not apply that principle in dealing with Roe. Roe decided that a woman had a fundamental right to an abortion. The joint opinion rejects that view. Roe decided that abortion regulations were to be subjected to “strict scrutiny,” and could be justified only in the light of “compelling state interests.” The joint opinion rejects that view. Roe analyzed abortion regulation under a rigid trimester framework, a framework which has guided this Court’s decisionmaking for 19 years. The joint opinion rejects that framework…..

    …. In the end, having failed to put forth any evidence to prove any true reliance, the joint opinion’s argument is based solely on generalized assertions about the national psyche, on a belief that the people of this country have grown accustomed to the Roe decision over the last 19 years and have “ordered their thinking and living around” it. As an initial matter, one might inquire how the joint opinion can view the “central holding” of Roe as so deeply rooted in our constitutional culture when it so casually uproots and disposes of that same decision’s trimester framework.”

  7. McGehee says:

    [fires knockout dart into Lt bell’s neck]

  8. Herb says:

    Lt Bell is definitely not prejudiced, He hates everybody and everything.