Friday, September 30, 2022

Biden nixes plans to appoint anti-abortion lawyer for Kentucky judgeship after pushback

The White House will no longer appoint an anti-abortion attorney for a district judgeship in Kentucky, after Democrats and pro-abortion groups criticized the move. 

President Biden was set to nominate Chad Meredith, as part of a deal he had made with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Ultimately, Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, tanked the nomination by refusing to return a “blue slip” on him, a Senate custom whereby home-state senators have an informal say over whether a judicial nomination moves forward.

“In considering potential District Court nominees, the White House learned that Senator Rand Paul will not return a blue slip on Chad Meredith,” said Andrew Bates, White House spokesman. “Therefore, the White House will not nominate Mr. Meredith.”

Mr. Paul has not publicly commented on why he decided not to support Mr. Meredith, and did not return a request for comment on the matter.

Mr. Biden also faced pressure from members of his party to abandon Mr. Meredith for the position.

The nomination also came in light of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, which returned the matter of restricting abortion to the states. Many states, including Kentucky, have so-called trigger laws on the books which outlaw most if not all abortions effective from the time that Roe should be overturned.

“President Biden should not nominate Chad Meredith,” tweeted Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat. “Women’s reproductive health is already endangered by courts populated by Federalist Society extremists. And certainly not because Mitch McConnell is threatening inaction on mainstream judges. That’s just what McConnell does.”

Mr. Meredith is a former Kentucky solicitor general and a member of the conservative Federalist Society. In his capacity as solicitor general, he helped defend Kentucky’s abortion restrictions.

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