He said his role as a federal judge is different since he would put his personal views aside. He added that if confronted with an abortion case on the Supreme Court, “the first question I would ask” would be whether precedence should prevail.
Specter, who favors abortion rights, asked Alito about Casey v. Planned Parenthood, the decision that reaffirmed Roe.
“I agree that, in every case in which there is a prior precedent, the first issue is the issue of stare decisis,” Alito said, referring to the Latin phrase for “to stand by a decision.”
“And the presumption is that the court will follow its prior precedents. There needs to be a special justification for overruling a prior precedent.”