Abortion rights in America are in jeopardy for the first time in nearly a half-century, so Democrats were a little mystified by something President Joe Biden was doing: He was quietly nominating an anti-abortion judge in Kentucky to a federal court seat. Why on earth would he do that? Out of friendship to Mitch McConnell, who’s dedicated his life to destroying his agenda. Alas, the nomination was not to be, but the person who scotched it is not who you’d expect.
As per The New York Times, another Kentucky senator, Rand Paul — the guy who doesn’t like the government helping anyone (unless it’s his constituents) — has blocked the nomination of one Chad Meredith, a member of the far right Federalist Society whose credits include successfully defending the Bluegrass State’s anti-abortion law. Paul did so via an obscure-to-laypersons senate tradition, in which a state’s senator can decide not to return a “blue slip” for nominees to federal district court judges.
It’s not yet known why Paul blocked the nomination, though McConnell postulated that it might have been a petty move. According to McConnell, Paul may have simply felt it was his turn to put forward a judicial candidate.
Whatever Paul’s motives, the move left McConnell steaming. “The net result of this is it has prevented me from getting my kind of judge out of a liberal Democratic president,” he told NYT, calling it “just utterly pointless.” He added, “The president would not have been taking a recommendation from Rand Paul, I can assure you.”
Just to recap: Biden, a president who’s been dragged by members of his own party for not doing enough to combat Republican aggression, did not yank the nomination of an anti-abortion judge because he saw the light. Instead, the day was (unwittingly) saved by a guy who regularly gets into pissy fights with Dr. Anthony Fauci.