WASHINGTON — If President Joe Biden carries out the terms of a rumored agreement with Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a number of Senate Democrats have stated they will vote against the confirmation of a conservative, anti-abortion federal judge nominee.
The possibility that the president’s own party would veto Biden’s choice of Kentucky attorney Chad Meredith was increased by the Democrats’ outspoken opposition to the nomination.
Sen. Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii, stated on Monday, “All I’m going to tell you is I’m going to vote no.” It’s his decision, but if he had asked my opinion, I would have replied, “I don’t know how many Democrats are planning to vote yes.”
Meredith is an attorney for the Federal Society who has fought to restrict access to abortion, but Biden has not formally nominated her. However, a White House representative informed Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s office in an email on June 23 that it intended to nominate Meredith to a U.S. District Court judgeship in Kentucky’s Eastern District the following day. This information was first exclusively revealed by The Courier Journal.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade the following morning, ending the constitutional right to an abortion, shocked the country. Meredith did not announce or submit her intended nomination.
The White House was contacted last week about the potential Meredith nomination, according to Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., chairman of the Senate Judicial Committee, which considers federal judicial nominations.
“What does it mean to us? According to Politico, Durbin told reporters that they didn’t provide a specific response. He claimed that “on his merits alone,” Democrats would not support Meredith’s confirmation.
It wouldn’t be my choice for a judge, Durbin told USA TODAY, adding that he needs to “know more” about the situation, including whether McConnell was involved in any kind of agreement.
In a Senate that is evenly divided, Biden may attempt to secure Republican support for a Meredith nomination. But it would be extremely unusual for a president to oppose his own party’s nominee for a lower court judge, and he would have to get past a Judiciary Committee that is dominated by Democrats.
Although McConnell has declined to speak until Biden formally nominates a candidate, his camp has called reports of a deal “false information.”
Chad Meredith “wouldn’t be my choice for judge,” according to Sen. Dick Durbin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who said he spoke to the White House about the potential nomination last week.
Progressive activists have reacted negatively to Biden’s potential nomination of Meredith and called for the Biden administration to take more decisive action in light of the Supreme Court ruling.
The potential nomination has been dubbed “unacceptable” by a number of pro-choice organizations, who have urged Biden not to go through with it.
Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, stated, “From what I’ve read, I would have some concerns with that nominee.” “Since I don’t know the specific person, I’m only basing this on what I’m reading. However, based on what I’ve read, I don’t believe a Democratic majority should put this kind of person on the bench.
U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, and Beshear have both called on Biden to withdraw Meredith’s name. Yarmuth and other officials told The Courier Journal that Biden must have worked out a deal with McConnell so he wouldn’t obstruct future White House nominations.
Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, a Democrat, lamented the possibility of such a deal.
According to Hickenlooper, “this is the kind of political trading that is produced when you have bitter partisanship and trade offs like that, where people do things that they ordinarily would never think to do.”
Regarding Meredith’s confirmation process and whether or not a deal with McConnell ever existed, the White House has repeatedly declined to comment.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated last week, “I’ll say this to you, which is, we do not comment on vacancies.” This position is open. This is not something on which we will comment. On judicial or executive branch vacancies, we make no remarks. We have not yet submitted a nomination.
If President Joe Biden nominates Chad Meredith, Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., is one of the Senate Democrats who said she would vote against his confirmation.
Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada, a Democrat, expressed her displeasure at Meredith’s nomination.
Rosen declared, “I think that we absolutely won’t support the judge, (or) anyone who comes forward and says that they are clearly against a woman’s right to have her own choices with regard to her reproductive freedom.”
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Rosen’s Democratic counterpart in the Nevada Senate, stated through a spokeswoman that she would oppose Meredith’s nomination as well.
As the president has still not formally submitted Meredith’s name to the Senate, Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio stated that the nomination is “not real until they send the name on.”
No one who is against abortion or women’s health should be nominated, according to Brown.
“He shouldn’t forward the name,”
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, objected to Biden’s intended nomination of Chad Meredith to be a federal judge in Kentucky, saying, “He should not send the name on.”