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Bench Memos

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Gonzales on Roberts & Roe



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AP:

If confirmed to the Supreme Court, John Roberts would not be bound by his past statement that the 1973 decision legalizing abortion is settled law, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday.

Roberts testified before Congress in 2003 that he considers the Roe v. Wade decision “settled law.” At the time, he had been nominated for the seat he now holds on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

But Gonzales, in an interview with The Associated Press, said circumstances had changed. “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.



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