US President Joe Biden intends to nominate an anti-abortion Republican lawyer to a federal judgeship, two Kentucky Democrats informed of the decision say.
The prospective nominee, conservative lawyer Chad Meredith, would serve in a lifetime appointment to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
Meredith’s prospective appointment was first reported by The Courier-Journal.
Kentucky Democrats expressed outrage about Meredith’s expected nomination to the court before it was clear that a vacancy would emerge on the bench. But on Friday, US District Court Judge Karen K. Caldwell of the Eastern District of Kentucky was added to a public list of future federal judicial vacancies, clearing a path for Meredith to potentially join the court.
The US Courts list indicates that Caldwell shared her decision late last month to move into “senior” status as a judge for the court. By taking senior status, US Courts states, judges may choose to handle a reduced caseload; regardless of that caseload, the status creates a vacancy on the court they serve on.
Biden’s prospective nomination comes just as the President is pledging to use everything within his power to fight for abortion rights in the wake of last week’s US Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade. With the federal constitutional right to an abortion eliminated, states will have to determine abortion rights unless Congress acts.
Meredith previously worked as then-Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s deputy counsel, defending a state law that requires doctors performing abortions to first perform an ultrasound and describe the image on the monitor to the patient.
In court in 2018Meredith argued that the law would make sure women were more fully informed of their decision because “not every patient understands the consequences of the abortion procedure.”
“This is right in the heartland