It appears that not only was there some sort of unconfirmed backroom deal percolating between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and President Joe Biden to appoint an anti-abortion Federalist Society member as a federal judge –- the President was reportedly planning to do it at the worst possible time.
The Louisville Courier-Journal, which was the first outlet to report on the apparent deal, obtained an email that White House aide Kathleen M. Marshall sent to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) on June 23 informing him that Biden was going to nominate the conservative anti-choice lawyer, Chad Meredith, for a judgeship in the state the next day on June 24.
“To be nominated tomorrow:… Stephen Chad Meredith: candidate for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky,” Marshall wrote, per the Courier-Journal.
But the conservative majority on the Supreme Court voted to strike down Roe v. Wade the next day, apparently scuttling Biden’s plan. However, the high court’s devastating ruling has not been confirmed as the reason the President put Meredith’s nomination on hold.
It’s unclear whether Biden will move forward with the nomination in the face of outrage from fellow Democrats and abortion rights advocates. The White House has not commented on the matter, saying only that, “we do not comment on vacancies.”
The particulars of Biden’s deal with McConnell are unknown, but Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) has said that he believes that the Senate GOP likely agreed not to stonewall Biden’s future nominations in exchange for Meredith’s appointment.