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Law & the Courts

Amy Hagstrom Miller vs. Judge Neil Gorsuch

I just watched the testimony of the founder and president of the Whole Woman’s Health Clinic, the Texas abortion clinic that won a Supreme Court case against state regulations, at Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings. Some lowlights:

At about 1:24, she tells an allegedly sad story: “I also remember the woman who called from west Texas where every single clinic had been shut down. She was a single working mother with three children. We helped her to find a clinic, raised money for her abortion, child care, transportation, and lost wages. By the time she made it to a Dallas clinic eight weeks later it was too late for her to have an abortion in the state of Texas. We need judges on the court who support our constitutional rights no matter our zip codes. Neil Gorsuch is not that judge.” The terrible tragedy here is that an abortion did not take place.

At around 2:19, Senator John Kennedy (R., La.) asks her whether she would ever support any nominee who had not declared his support for Roe v. Wade. Her eventual answer: “I believe that Roe v. Wade is precedent and it’s important for the justices to uphold precedent.” Right, she’s just devoted to precedent. I’m sure she’s a big believer in Maher v. Roe.

Kennedy then asks her to substantiate her charge that Gorsuch had let his “personal beliefs” determine his judicial decisions, including his decision in the Hobby Lobby case. She does not seem to grasp the question but eventually settles on the idea that the result in the case was proof enough of Gorsuch’s lack of “objectivity.”

Bonus: She says during that exchange, “I tend to side with the little gal.” I wonder whether that west Texas woman’s child, who must now be a toddler, is a girl.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.


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