Friday, March 24, 2023

White House drops plan to nominate anti-abortion lawyer for Kentucky judge job

President Joe Biden has abandoned plans to nominate a Kentucky anti-abortion lawyer for a federal judgeship for life, a White House spokesman said Friday.

Biden had come under intense criticism from Democrats and reproductive rights groups after the Louisville Courier-Journal broke news that he planned to pick Chad Meredith to a seat on the US District Court in eastern Kentucky. Meredith’s potential nomination appeared to be part of a broader agreement on a mix of judicial nominees that was being worked out behind the scenes between the White House and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

In the end, though, it was a Republican, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who appeared to win the potential nomination.

“In considering potential District Court nominees, the White House has learned that Senator Rand Paul will not return a blue receipt to Chad Meredith,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said in a statement. “Therefore, the White House will not nominate Mr. Meredith.”

It is a tradition in the Senate Judiciary Committee that its chairman does not nominate a judicial candidate until both senators from that candidate’s home state turn in the so-called blue slip, literally a blue sheet of paper, indicating that they are on board with moving forward Because Paul said he wouldn’t hand out a blue receipt for Meredith, he effectively killed the nomination.

A spokesman for Paul did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why he opposed Meredith’s potential nomination.

Republicans broke with blue ballot tradition when Donald Trump was president, routinely promoting nominees to the US Circuit Court despite opposition from Democratic senators to those nominees who did not deliver blue ballots. The Democrats have begun to do the same since Biden took office. However, both sides have maintained the tradition of District Court nominees.

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Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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