President Joe Biden reportedly reached a deal with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in order to nominate an abortion lawyer to a lifetime federal judgeship for Kentucky. This news comes less that a week after the U.S. Supreme Court revoked the constitutional right to abort.
According to Louisville’s Courier-Journal, Biden has agreed to nominate Republican attorney Chad Meredith once there’s a federal court vacancy in Kentucky, where abortion was outlawed immediately following the high court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health OrganizationFriday
In exchange, McConnell (R-Ky.) has purportedly agreed not to obstruct the president’s future judicial nominations — a vow that was met with deep skepticism from outside observers, given the Kentucky Republican’s long record of cynical machinationsThey have moved the Supreme Court and the lower courts to the right for decades.
The following is a summary of the agreement between McConnell and Biden. confirmedWednesday, Rep. John Yarmuth’s office (D-Ky.), opposed any deal to raise Meredith to a lifetime position on the federal judiciary. McConnell has succeeded at filling this post with far-right young, often-intoxicated judges. badly unqualifiedThe judges were hand-picked by Federalist Society.
“That last thing we need is another extremist on the bench,” Yarmuth said of Meredith, who defended state-level attacks on abortion access as Kentucky’s solicitor general.
Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker also slammed the agreement, which he characterized as a “complete slap in the face.”
The President has made a deal with Satan and the people of Kentucky are once again crushed.
This is a complete slap on the face at a moment when we are fighting to defend human rights.
This is some bullshit. https://t.co/A4LV6PxSeK
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) June 29, 2022
In the eyes of reproductive rights advocates who are working to defend basic freedoms from the Supreme Court and GOP legislatures, the timing of Biden’s deal with McConnell — which would’ve drawn outrage in any case — couldn’t have been worse.
“We elected you to PROTECT abortion access, not nominate anti-abortion judges as our rights are stripped away!” tweeted Women’s March, which has promised a “Summer of Rage” in response to the Supreme Court’s decision striking down Roe v. Wade. The organization has also said it would support primary challenges against Democrats complicit in the right-wing takeover of the nation’s judiciary.
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates East added that “lifetime appointments to federal courts for people with records like Chad Meredith are unacceptable and the reason we have lost the federal right to abortion.”
“We deserve better,” the group said.
The outlines of the president’s agreement with the Senate’s top Republican came as the White House is facing backlash for failing to do everything in its power to defend abortion rights in Republican-led states that are moving aggressively to ban the procedure, throwing pregnant people across the country into chaosThey are at risk healthAnd livelihoods.
Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States, spoke earlier this week in an interview. said the White House is not currently discussing a proposal — backed by prominent progressive lawmakers — to utilize federal property to ensure abortion access for people in GOP-controlled states.
As Reuters reported Wednesday, “the White House is pursuing a more limited set of policy responses while urging voters and Congress to act. The White House’s plans include a range of executive actions in the coming days, as well as promising to protect women who cross state lines for abortions and support for medical abortion.”
“Biden and officials are concerned that more radical moves would be politically polarizing ahead of November’s midterm elections, undermine public trust in institutions like the Supreme Court, or lack strong legal footing,” the outlet added.
But the Supreme Court is already enjoying public confidence. all-time low, critics are warning that the White House’s refusal to act boldly to reform the courtProtecting abortion care could have catastrophic consequences, allowing Republicans to ally themselves in the courts. trample more rightsAs the GOP looks to retake control of the federal government in the next midterms and 2024,
Denouncing Biden’s deal with McConnell as a “massive betrayal,” Jezebel’s Laura Bassett argued late Wednesday that “if Democrats are going to continue asking people to vote to make up for what we lost on Friday, they are going to need to show us something much different than this.”
“Biden is under a lot of pressure to fill the current court vacancies he has with judges who are friendly to reproductive rights. And instead, he is making deals with McConnell to allow more anti-abortion judges into the fray,” Bassett wrote. “There is no excuse for it.”