Efforts to suggest his perfectly mainstream positions are extreme are ridiculous. They may shock reporters but will alarm neither the median voter nor legal scholars.

Most notably, Kavanaugh praised the late Justice William Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe v. Wade, the notorious 1973 case that invented a sweeping constitutional right to abortion and invalidated state laws protecting the unborn. This was part of a “freewheeling judicial creation of unenumerated rights,” as Kavanaugh put it, succinctly and aptly.

Legal scholars largely agree with Rehnquist and Kavanaugh that Roe was invention rather than interpretation, and had little to no grounding in the Constitution. What’s more, the public generally favors restrictions on second-trimester abortions, which Roe generally prohibited. (It’s worth noting that, therefore, after being beaten over the head for decades by the core feminist assertion, a majority of the public still does not accept that abortion is simply a matter of “a woman’s right to choose.”) Voters also tend to want states, rather than the Supreme Court, to set abortion policy, which is to say they prefer democracy to fiat.