Klobuchar to Gorsuch: Does Originalist View of Constitution Allow for Women to Become President?

March 21, 2017

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) asked Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch on Tuesday whether an originalist interpretation of the Constitution allows for women to be president of the United States.

Leading up to the exchange, Gorsuch said the Constitution "doesn't change" but the world does, and "we have to understand the Constitution and apply it in light of our current circumstances."

Giving the example of what qualified as an illegal search in the 1800s being seen as illegal now, Gorsuch remarked, "The Constitution is no less protective of the people's liberties now than it was 200 years ago."

"So when the Constitution refers like 30-some times to 'his' or 'he' when describing the president of the United States, you would see that as, 'Well, back then, they actually thought a woman could be president even though women couldn't vote?" Klobuchar asked.

"Senator, I'm not looking to take us back to quill pens and horses and buggies," Gorsuch responded.

"But if you could answer that question, it's pretty important to me," she said.

"I'm trying to. Of course women can be president of the United States," Gorsuch said in an exasperated voice. "I'm the father of two daughters, and I hope one of them turns out to be president."