Supreme Court nominee created a bit of a buzz this week when it was reported that he told Sen. Susan Collins that Roe v. Wade is "settled law." Immediately, the political buzz began as to whether Kavanaugh could be trusted on the issue.
But his use of the "settled law" phrase was actually not breaking news, nor a victory for the abortion Left.
Kavanaugh apparently told Sen. Collins that he agreed with the sentiments of now Chief Justice John Roberts, who remarked during is confirmation hearings that Row "is the settled law of the land. ... There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent."
Then-nominee Neil Gorsuch used even stronger language during his confirmation hearings in saying that Roe is "the law of the land" and also said that Roe is "a precedent of the United States Supreme. It has been reaffirmed."
At the end of the day, these are the kind of things Kavanaugh must say in order to get confirmed. He is speaking truthfully. Roe v. Wade is "settled law." But as legal observers, Supreme Court decisions aren't settled law in the sense that one might imagine. Mike Ford noted that What some people refer to as "settled law" isn't – it's not "settled," nor is it "law." That's because Surpeme Court opinions are by definition not law! And history shows that a decision of the court is only settled until the next decision becomes the "settled law."
For a clearer view of Kavanaugh's views on Roe, take a look at his speech last year extolling the virtues of the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist;
"...[I]t is fair to say that Justice Rehnquist was not successful in convincing a majority of the justices in the context of abortion either in Roe itself or in the later cases such as Casey, in the latter case perhaps because of stare decisis. But he was successful in stemming the general tide of freewheeling judicial creation of unenumerated rights that were not rooted in the nation’s history and tradition."
So in conclusion, no worries here.