The office of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, recently released an email suggesting that President Joe Biden had planned to nominate an anti-abortion judge to a federal court vacancy in Kentucky — shortly before Roe v. Wade got upended.
The date of the White House email was June 23 — the day before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade (by a 5-4 decision) and upheld the Mississippi law in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case (6-3 decision), which preserved a Mississippi state law banning abortion 15 weeks after the woman’s pregnancy.
According to the Courier-Journal, the June 23 email contained the following text: “To be nominated tomorrow: … Stephen Chad Meredith: candidate for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.”
However, after the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions on June 24, fueling national outrage from pro-abortion advocates and progressive Democrats, Meredith’s nomination was never announced.
Meredith previously served as Kentucky’s solicitor general and as chief deputy general counsel for former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican.
In his role as chief deputy general counsel, Meredith defended Kentucky’s abortion restriction requiring women to submit to an ultrasound before pregnancy termination, with doctors mandated to describe what they see to the patient.
The Biden administration email was sent by White House aide Kathleen Marshall, the former lieutenant governor of Nevada, who now works as a senior adviser to governors.
The email’s subject line read: “Close hold,” which is generally code for keeping the information under wraps until the news goes public; the actual message was sent to Coulter Minix, a Beshear staffer in the governor’s D.C. office.
“Thanks, Kate, I’ll share the info and appreciate the heads up,” Minix replied.
Beshear’s office also provided the Courier-Journal with a follow-up email (dated June 29) from a White House official, clarifying the June 23 message was “pre-decisional and privileged information.”
While addressing reporters on board Air Force One Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “[the Biden administration makes] it a point here to not comment on any vacancy, whether it is on the executive branch or judicial branch.”
Jean-Pierre also called it a “hypothetical” scenario, when pressed if Biden would ever appoint a pro-life judge to the federal bench. She refused comment through the line of questioning.
On Wednesday, Jean-Pierre was also asked how the Democratic Party-oriented White House could consider an anti-abortion federal judge in late June, when the May 2 story from Politico — publishing an initial draft majority opinion from Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, regarding abortion rights — had been leaked to the public six-plus weeks in advance of the SCOTUS decision.
Jean-Pierre responded: “The judiciary represents the diversity of America, including a groundbreaking new Supreme Court Justice [Ketanji Brown Jackson], and that is something that we’re going to continue to do; and we won’t stop there.”