Paul sinks controversial Kentucky judicial nomination, to the relief of Democrats
A controversial federal judicial nomination has been scuttled by Sen. Rand Paul, who says it was the subject of a secret agreement between President Joe Biden and Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Progressives have been seething for weeks over reported White House plans to nominate conservative Chad Meredith, who has opposed abortion rights, to an open seat on the U.S. District Court in Kentucky’s Eastern District.
Democrats as prominent as Kentucky’s own Congressman John Yarmuth suggested early on that the potential nomination was an effort to appease Sen. Mitch McConnell and stop Republicans from blocking future nominations. McConnell told the New York Times there was no deal, and Biden was offering the nomination as an act of collegiality and personal friendship.
Asked about that act of "friendship" Monday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre only confirmed that the nomination would not move forward.
"That part of your comment is not something that I'm aware of. I'm just telling you where we are."White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
And where we are is a “strange bedfellows” moment — with Republican Sen. Paul pulling the rug out from underneath the nomination of a like-minded judge, handing a win to Democrats who opposed Meredith’s nomination to the bench. Paul accused McConnell of not consulting with him on the judicial pick.
While the White House has not elaborated on the reason for the initial choice, or what Biden might have been promised in return, Jean-Pierre reiterated the president’s commitment to protecting abortion rights as states sort through the aftermath of the high court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.