President Joe Biden planned to nominate an anti-abortion judge on the day Roe was overturned by the Supreme Court, The Washington Post reports.
The Louisville Courier-Journal first reported that Biden had struck a deal with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to nominate anti-abortion attorney Chad Meredith for a judicial seat in Kentucky in exchange for less Republican obstruction.
White House official Kate Marshall emailed Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s office the day before the Supreme Court decision, informing them that Biden planned to nominate Meredith the following day to be a judge in the Eastern District of Kentucky.
The Supreme Court struck down federal abortion rights the next day. Meredith’s name did not appear on Biden’s nomination list and it’s unclear if he will ultimately nominate him.
Beshear’s office released the email to news outlets as the governor lambasted the deal.
“If the president makes that nomination, it is indefensible,” Beshear said last week, pointing to Meredith’s role in former Gov. Matt Bevin’s pardon scandal.
Meredith is “an individual who aided and advised on the most egregious abuse of power by a governor in my lifetime,” Beshear said.
Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth, a fellow Democrat, also ripped the deal.
“Given that a judicial position isn’t currently open on the Eastern District Court, it’s clear that this is part of some larger deal on judicial nominations between the President and Mitch McConnell,” Yarmuth said in a statement. “I strongly oppose this deal and Meredith being nominated for the position. That last thing we need is another extremist on the bench.”
White House deflects:
The White House did not say whether Biden plans to nominate Meredith or whether he would vow not to appoint any anti-abortion judges.
“So we don’t — we — we make it a point here to not comment on any — on any vacancy, whether it is on the executive branch or judicial branch, especially those that have not — have not — the nomination has not been made yet,” she told reporters. “So I don’t have anything to say on that. It is something that we just don’t comment on.”
Reproductive rights groups blasted the administration.
“We are in a national abortion crisis,” said a statement from groups including NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We are in this moment because antiabortion judges were intentionally nominated at every level to take away our fundamental right to abortion — and given his record, we know Chad Meredith would be no exception.”