WASHINGTON — According to emails first published by The Louisville Courier Journal and later obtained by Spectrum News 1, the White House informed Gov. Andy Beshear’s office that President Joe Biden intended to nominate Chad Meredith, a Republican lawyer who opposes abortion rights, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. 

What You Need To Know

  • Beshear’s office releases emails from White House staff via open records request

  • The White House intended to nominate Chad Meredith to a federal judgeship on June 24

  • Kentucky Democrats are pushing back against this potential nomination


The June 23 email reads “to be nominated tomorrow,” but the following day the Supreme Court announced it was overturning Roe v. Wade. Meredith’s nomination did not happen that day and has still not happened. 



Meredith would be an odd choice for a Democratic president. He served as Chief Deputy General Counsel to Republican Gov. Matt Bevin from 2015 to 2019 and Solicitor General of Kentucky from 2019 to 2021. He’s also a member of the Federalist Society, which defines itself as “a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order.”

The White House has received push back on this decision from Democratic leaders including Beshear and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY, 3rd Dist.) of Louisville. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about Meredith’s potential nomination during the most recent briefing. 

“We make it a point here to not comment on any vacancy, whether it’s on the executive branch or the judicial branch,” Jean-Pierre said. “Especially those where the nomination has not been made yet.”


Jean-Pierre was asked specifically if Biden would nominate someone who stands against abortion and holds conservative views. “We haven’t nominated anyone yet,” she replied. 

On June 29, White House staff sent a follow up email to Beshear’s office stating the June 23 email was “pre-decisional” and “privileged information.”  

Yarmuth said he received a call from the White House that this nomination was coming and made it clear he did not support this potential nomination. 

“It’s some sort of effort to appease Mitch McConnell,” Yarmuth told reporters just a few days later. 

Similar to the White House, McConnell’s office said he will not be commenting until a nomination is made. 

In a statement to Spectrum News 1, the Executive Director of the Kentucky Democratic Party Sebastian Kitchen said, “We share the same concerns as Gov. Beshear, Congressman Yarmuth and others and would unequivocally oppose Chad Meredith’s lifetime appointment to the federal bench.”