Paul Bucks McConnell Over Judicial Appointment; KY Senate Closes Ranks Around Sen. Meredith

Kentucky’s U.S. Senators are at odds over a judicial nomination that had the approval of President Joe Biden, and the discontent could be leaking into the state Senate chambers.

The White House has dropped plans to appoint Chad Meredith to a federal judicial appointment, after an agreement with President Joe Biden which was brokered by U.S. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell fell apart as U.S. Sen. Rand Paul refused to consent to the nomination.

Multiple Kentucky GOP sources say Paul refused to consent to the deal after McConnell jumped Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator to choose Meredith for the judicial vacancy, and worked out a deal with the White House without his knowledge.

The battle between McConnell and Paul has the state Senate closing ranks as frustration bubbles up from some inside their caucus. Chad’s father, Stephen Meredith, serves in the Kentucky state Senate. Sen. Meredith did not return calls for comment on the deal-breaking apart.

State Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, told Kentucky Fried Politics, Chad is “well regarded by majority members of the Kentucky state Senate.””[Chad] would be an excellent federal judge,” Thayer said. “Steve Meredith is an extremely valued member of our caucus.”

Thayer would not reveal the frustration from Meredith, and several members of the GOP caucus refused to divulge details of a group caucus text message expressing their frustrations with the deal falling apart. Thayer called the text messages “privileged and confidential” and refused to say anything further about them.

“This appears to be an issue between Senators McConnell and Paul. Our caucus will not be in the middle of it,” Thayer continued.