President Joe Biden may nominate a conservative anti-abortion lawyer to serve in Kentucky as part of a deal with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Wednesday. tenured judgeship.
While there are currently no judicial vacancies in Kentucky, the agreement will be nominated by Chad Meredith, a member of the conservative Federalist Society, when the current judge announces his resignation or retirement, the newspaper reported. The Courier also said McConnell would agree not to block any future federal nominations for the Biden White House.
Meredith previously served as Kentucky’s attorney general and served as deputy adviser to former Gov. Matt Bevin. He defended a 2017 Kentucky law that requires doctors performing abortions to perform ultrasounds and then describe the images to patients before surgery.
The law was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 2019.
The office of Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky told The Hill that the White House informed the lawmaker of Biden’s intentions, saying the lawmaker was adamantly opposed to Meredith’s appointment. Yamut added that the deal would see yet another “extremist” in a strong judicial role, following the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade case.
“Given that there are currently no vacancies for judicial positions on the Eastern District Court, it’s clear that this is part of some larger deal between the president and Mitch McConnell regarding judicial nominations,” Yamter elaborated to The Courier-Journal. “I strongly oppose this deal and Meredith’s nomination to the position. The last thing we need is another extremist in the justices.”
McConnell’s home state of Kentucky was one of several states that took effect immediately after the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, which protected Americans from getting abortions. Kentucky law makes exceptions for saving a mother’s life or preventing a disabling injury.
The Biden administration has faced intense pressure to address the regress of abortion rights following a Supreme Court ruling. Civil rights groups have announced a series of court battles in states that have swiftly banned abortion, while prosecutors in some districts have said they will not enforce their state bans.
McConnell has made judicial nominations a key aspect of his legacy, saying lifetime appointments to judges are arguably the “most important” thing lawmakers can strive to achieve.
“Obviously, that’s my number one priority,” the lawmaker told NPR in 2018.