In a stunning reversal that is certain to anger his left-wing Democratic base, President Joe Biden is set to nominate a conservative anti-abortion attorney to the federal bench in Kentucky, according to a Thursday report.
The Hill reported that the office of Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) announced that Biden would forward the nomination of Chad Meredith, a lawyer who has previously served as Kentucky’s solicitor general and represented a number of Kentucky’s top Republican officials in cases curbing abortion access and COVID-19 public health measures.
The outlet added:
Meredith represented Kentucky’s then-Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in a 2019 legal battle against an abortion clinic, saying at one point that effectively eliminating access to abortion in the state would have a negligible impact on women seeking the procedure.
He also defended a 2017 state law requiring doctors to perform an ultrasound and describe the image to a patient before providing an abortion, according to the Louisville Courier Journal, which first reported the news of his pending nomination.
Christopher Schuler, Yarmuth’s communications director, told the outlet that White House officials informed the lawmaker that Biden intended to nominate Meredith, but he did not provide any further information.
According to the Courier-Journal, the nomination of Meredith appears to have come about as the result of a deal between the president and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in order to facilitate future Biden nominees to the federal bench. For the record, Yarmuth says he opposes the nomination.
“Given that a judicial position isn’t currently open on the Eastern District Court, it’s clear that this is part of some larger deal on judicial nominations between the president and Mitch McConnell,” Yarmuth told the local newspaper.
The nomination would come amid extreme anger within the Democratic Party over several recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court including overturning Roe v. Wade, striking down a New York concealed carry law as a violation of the Second Amendment, and Thursday’s ruling that severely limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate so-called ‘greenhouse gases.’
Meredith served as Bevin’s chief deputy general counsel. In 2019 he asked a federal appeals court to restore a state law that required abortion clinics to obtain written transfer agreements with an ambulance service and a local hospital in case of an emergency, The Associated Press noted.
The law was struck down by a federal judge who ruled that the law would effectively eliminate the right to an abortion in Kentucky, and that was the argument used by the abortion clinic attorney who opposed Meredith in the appeal.
At the time, Bevin remarked that if the law “results in no abortion clinics, fantastic,” the AP reported.