>> People around this country are worried.>> Anthony Kennedy's retirement from the Supreme Court has set off a wave of speculation about the fate of Roe vs Wade, the court's landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion. Abortion rights advocates fear the 45 year old ruling could now be in mortal danger.
>> The new justice->> If President Trump, as expected, names another solid conservative like Neil Gorsuch to the nation's highest court.>> Keep an open mind.>> Conservative jurists often say they'll respect earlier rulings a concept known as precedent, but that's not always the case in practice. Supreme Court correspondent Lawrence Hurley.
>> So the big question for this is, how willing are justices to overturn precedent that's been around for decades? Because Justice Kennedy sided with liberals in upholding abortion rights, and so his replacement by someone who is more conservative on that issue would mean that all these issues would be in play even overturning the Roe v Wade decision.
Really once you have five votes on the nine justice courts to overturn precedent, you can do it.>> Hurley said the courts recent track record gives abortion rights advocates ample reason to worry.>> We've got a very recent example of this just from last week where the court struck down a 41 year old precedent in a major.
Public sector union case in which Justice Gorsuch was in the majority. Just last year when he was in his confirmation hearing, he was talking about the importance of precedent and how seriously you take it, in relation to Roe v Wade.>> Is a precedent of the United States Supreme Court, and all of the other factors that go into analyzing precedent have to be considered.
>> Republicans are playing down the Democrats dooms day scenario. The White House says Trump does not intend to ask candidates their views on Roe vs Wade.>> He's not going to discuss specific cases with those nominees.>> But Hurley says Trump probably doesn't need to ask.>> They are outstanding people.
>> These are all nominees, potential nominees who have been vetted by outside conservative groups for their conservative legal credentials, which is sort of like a signal perhaps that if a case on abortion rights comes before them, they would be more likely than not to strike down Roe v Wade potentially or even just to limit abortion rights
>> The person that is chosen will be outstanding. Thank you very much, everybody.