Kentucky Guv Demands Biden Ditch Anti-Abortion Judicial Nominee

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) speaks onstage during the 2022 Concordia Lexington Summit on April 08, 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images for Concordia)
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Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) called on the White House to drop President Joe Biden’s planned judicial nomination of Chad Meredith, an anti-abortion conservative, during a press briefing on Thursday.

“It’s been plenty of time,” Beshear said. “And by now, they should be telling us that it’s going to be rescinded.”

The Democratic governor told reporters that he won’t stop protesting the Biden administration’s plan.

“You can expect in any conversations on this I will continue to tell them that this is not an acceptable nomination, and I and the rest of Kentucky will oppose it,” he said.

The Louisville Courier Journal noted that Beshear has not yet mentioned Meredith’s anti-abortion stance while rebuking the “indefensible” nomination, including on Thursday.

Rather, the governor has focused his criticism on Meredith’s involvement in former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s (R) controversial pardons while serving as the GOP governor’s deputy general counsel.

“The fact that this individual assisted former Gov. Bevin with the worst misuse or abuse of gubernatorial power –- certainly in my lifetime -– should be disqualifying,” Beshear declared on Thursday.

Beshear’s comments came two days after his office released the emails from the White House informing him that Biden was going to tap Meredith to sit on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

The White House’s first email, sent on June 23, said Biden was going to nominate Meredith the following day –- the day the Supreme Court dismantled Roe v. Wade.

The second email, sent on June 29, told Beshear’s office that the previous email was “pre-decisional and privileged information.”

The governor’s office initially refused to turn over the messages when the Louisville Courier Journal requested them under the open records law. It’s unclear why Beshear changed his mind on releasing the emails.

Kentucky officials have suggested that the jaw-dropping nomination is part of an agreement, albeit unconfirmed, between Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The Republican Senate leader reportedly promised not to block the President’s other federal nominations in return.

More specifically, according to Slate, in exchange for Meredith’s lifetime appointment to the bench, McConnell reportedly agreed not to stonewall Biden’s picks for U.S. Attorney in the state.

The White House has flatly refused to comment on the nomination and whether Biden plans to go through with it in the face of fury from his fellow Democrats and abortion rights advocates.

McConnell has been similarly tight-lipped on the issue.

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Notable Replies

  1. Biden has some ‘splaining to do.

  2. To the extent that this impacts our turnout in November. That’s MY red line about any of this

  3. Beshear has not yet mentioned Meredith’s anti-abortion stance…

    Rather, the governor has focused his criticism on Meredith’s involvement in former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s (R) controversial pardons while serving as the GOP governor’s deputy general counsel.

    In a snake-handling, tall-hair, speaking-in-tongues state like KY, this is how a Dem threads the needle.

  4. Biden almost always gets to the right positioning eventually. Whether it is the importance of voting rights legislation or the need for filibuster reform on things like protecting abortion access, he does eventually get there.

    The problem is that he almost never actually starts there. He has to be dragged to the right place time and time again.

    I fully expect that, under pushback, Biden will abandon this deal. But in the process of getting to the right place, he’ll have pissed off the base, further disheartened Democrats months before an election, looked clueless and out of touch due to the timing on the Roe repeal (which everyone knew was coming at some point this summer so was easily predictable) and, perhaps most importantly of all, at the end had nothing to show for it!

    Alternatively, if he doesn’t abandon this plan, he’ll…have pissed off the base, further disheartened Democrats months before an election, looked clueless and out of touch due to the timing on the Roe repeal…and have rewarded and reinforced bad behavior by McConnell’s obstructionism therefore incentivizing him to do more of it.

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