STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

AG nominee William Barr in 1992 CNN interview: Roe v. Wade 'will fall'

Days after the Supreme Court upheld Roe v. Wade in a close five-to-four decision in mid-1992, then-Attorney ...

Posted: Jan 11, 2019 6:15 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2019 6:15 PM

Days after the Supreme Court upheld Roe v. Wade in a close five-to-four decision in mid-1992, then-Attorney General William Barr predicted on CNN that the decision would be overturned.

"I think that Roe v. Wade will ultimately be overturned," Barr said on CNN's "Evans & Novak." "I think it'll fall of its own weight. It does not have any constitutional underpinnings."

Abortion

Abortion rights

Bill Barr

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Health and medical

Law and legal system

Legislation

Medical treatments and procedures

Political Figures - US

Politics

Sexual and reproductive health

Societal issues

Society

US Cabinet

US Congress

US federal court system

US federal government

US Senate

US Supreme Court

White House

Barr, who was nominated by President Donald Trump to be attorney general last month, boiled down the fate of Roe v. Wade to future appointments to the Supreme Court.

"Over time, I think, and with further appointments to the Supreme Court, I think that the Roe v. Wade opinion will fall," Barr said in the interview, which aired July 4, 1992.

In late June, the court had upheld Roe in its Planned Parenthood v Casey decision authored by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a Ronald Reagan appointee. Two other Republican appointees, Justices Anthony Kennedy and David Souter, had also voted to uphold Roe.

Barr called them "so-called moderate justices."

"I think they were wrong to do it," Barr said. "I think they should have stuck with the Constitution."

Barr is scheduled to testify at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing next week.

RELATED: Key Senate Republican: Attorney general nominee committed to allowing Mueller to finish

In the CNN interview, he pledged to continue calling for the decision's overturning.

"I think this department will continue to do what it's done for the past 10 years and call for the overturning of Roe v. Wade in future litigation," Barr said, because "well, the vote was worse than five to four several years ago, and we continued to go back to the Court. And I think the defects of the current decision will become more and more evident over time."

Even though Barr expressed a belief that the justices appointed to the Supreme Court would affect the future of Roe v. Wade, he did affirm ultimately "we don't select judges to decide one specific case" when making Supreme Court appointments.

This was not the first time Barr had spoken out against Roe v. Wade.

During his confirmation hearings in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in November 1991, Barr spoke out about his anti-abortion position for the first time.

"I haven't take a position on it publicly, I don't believe" Barr began. "I do not believe the right to privacy extends to abortion, so I think that my views are consistent with the views that have been taken by the department since 1983, which is that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled."

RELATED: Rosenstein, who picked Mueller, plans to leave Justice Dept. shortly after Barr confirmed

In response to Barr's comments, then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Joe Biden complimented Barr for his candidness.

"You've given the first candid answer anyone has given on Roe v. Wade that I can remember in God knows how many years," Biden said. "I disagree with your view, but it is -- it's astounding to me, and you're to be complimented. Thank you for being candid with us."

In the CNN interview, Barr advocated for state legislatures to be able to place restrictions on abortion.

Agreeing with Justice Antonin Scalia, who was one of the justices voting in the minority in this case, Barr said, "I agree with the sentiment that the Supreme Court should not be the referee in this area. This is a decision that should be left to the state."

Since leaving the Justice Department, Barr's position has not changed at least since 2001.

During an interview with UVA's Miller Center of Public Affairs Barr said, "I'm anti-abortion myself."

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect Roe v Wade's status as a Supreme Court decision.

West Lafayette
78° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 80°
Kokomo
Overcast
75° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Rensselaer
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 73°
Fowler
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 73°
Williamsport
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 81°
Crawfordsville
Broken Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 73°
Frankfort
Overcast
79° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 81°
Delphi
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Monticello
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 72°
Logansport
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49575

Reported Deaths: 2739
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11812690
Lake5337247
Elkhart343257
Allen2867133
St. Joseph202569
Cass16439
Hamilton1629101
Hendricks1439100
Johnson1306118
Porter78038
Tippecanoe7439
Clark67144
Madison66864
Vanderburgh6296
LaPorte59727
Bartholomew59245
Howard58258
Kosciusko5654
Marshall5217
Noble49128
LaGrange4829
Jackson4773
Delaware46052
Boone45944
Hancock45736
Shelby43425
Floyd39144
Morgan32831
Monroe31528
Grant30226
Montgomery29720
Henry29316
Dubois2906
Clinton2882
White26810
Decatur25532
Lawrence25125
Dearborn24723
Vigo2408
Warrick23229
Harrison21722
Greene19132
Miami1892
Jennings17912
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess15017
Wayne1496
Perry1409
Orange13623
Steuben1332
Franklin1278
Jasper1252
Ripley1247
Wabash1152
Carroll1122
Fayette1037
Gibson1032
Newton9910
Whitley995
Starke963
Huntington822
Randolph804
Wells791
Jefferson782
Fulton731
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox650
Clay644
Rush603
Owen511
Adams491
Posey490
Benton480
Spencer461
Sullivan451
Brown421
Blackford392
Fountain332
Crawford320
Tipton311
Switzerland280
Parke240
Martin220
Ohio210
Vermillion170
Warren151
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events