After initially declining to do so, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) office on Tuesday released two emails from the White House confirming President Joe Biden’s plan to nominate Chad Meredith, an anti-abortion Federalist Society member, to a federal judgeship.
The governor’s office gave the emails, dated June 23 and June 29, to the Louisville Courier Journal, which had requested the correspondences under Kentucky’s open records law before the newspaper received the June 23 email independently.
Beshear had refused to comply with the request at first, with his office telling the news outlet that the emails weren’t subjected to the open records law because they were “preliminary.”
However, the governor apparently changed his mind, handing over the June 23 email and a follow-up June 29 email that White House staffer Kathleen Marshall had sent to Coulter Minix, the director of Beshear’s D.C. office, about Meredith’s upcoming nomination.
The office’s copy of the June 23 email confirms not only that Biden was going to tap Meredith to sit on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, but also that he planned to do so on June 24, the same day the Supreme Court dismantled Roe v. Wade.
Marshall’s follow-up email on June 29 shows the White House aide telling Minix that she “wanted to clarify” that the June 23 email was “pre-decisional and privileged information.”
The June 29 email was sent just five hours before the Courier Journal first broke the news of Meredith’s planned nomination, reporting that the nomination was part of a deal between Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The agreement (which hasn’t been confirmed) is reportedly that McConnell won’t hold up Biden’s nominations in exchange for Meredith’s appointment.
It’s unclear why Beshear decided to stop withholding the emails. However, the governor, along with fellow Kentucky Democrat Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), has blasted Biden’s plan, as have furious abortion advocates.
The Courier Journal reported that Beshear’s office sent over the emails during White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s press briefing on Tuesday, during which she dodged questions about Meredith, Biden’s reported deal with McConnell and whether the President still plans on going through with the nomination despite the backlash.
“We make it a point here to not comment on any vacancy, whether it is on the executive branch or the judicial branch, especially those that the nomination has not been made yet,” Jean-Pierre said.
Read the White House’s June 23 email:
Read the follow-up June 29 email: