Rightwing extremist Matthew Kacsmaryk is set to be confirmed to a lifetime appointment as a federal judge.

Kacsmaryk is a Trump nominee to the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas. The Northern District covers a large part of the state, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and is home to nearly eight million people.

Kacsmaryk's current job is deputy general counsel to First Liberty Institute, an organization that promotes the belief that Christians in America are just constantly being persecuted. His nomination is opposed by a myriad of civil rights and public health groups and basically every LGBTQ rights organization.

As noted by Texas Observer writer Michael Barajas,

Matthew Kacsmaryk [has] worked to erode the firewall between church and state as lawyer for the First Liberty Institute, a Christian legal advocacy group that protects pastors who mobilize their flock to overturn local non-discrimination ordinances, county clerks who refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses and anti-abortion centers that trick women into thinking they're walking into actual medical clinics.

Initially, Trump nominated former First Liberty Institute lawyer Jeff Mateer for a federal judgeship in Texas, along with Kacsmaryk. Mateer's nomination failed after a 2015 speech surfaced in which he called transgender kids "Satan's spawn" and part of "Satan's plan."

Kathy Miller of the Texas Freedom Network, an organization that advocates for the separation of church and state, called Kacsmaryk's and Mateer's nominations "a clear signal that President Trump intends to make our federal courts the place where civil rights go to die."

Only the best people.

Kacsmaryk's greatest hits

In a 2015 piece published in the National Catholic Register and anti-choice outlet Life News titled "The Abolition of Man . . . and Woman," Kacsmaryk wrote:

In the last century, sexual revolutionaries litigated and legislated to remove three pillars of marriage law: first, permanence; second, exclusivity; and third, procreation. The first pillar fell when California Gov. Ronald Reagan signed the Family Law Act of 1969, and 48 states followed with their own no-fault divorce statutes. The second pillar fell when the vast majority of states adopted versions of the 1971 Model Penal Code, which eliminated legal penalties for fornication and adultery. The third pillar fell when the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional nearly all restrictions on contraceptives and abortion in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), Eisenstadt v. Baird (1965), Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992).

In case you were wondering, Griswold v. Connecticut was the case that said states couldn't criminalize birth control.

Kacsmaryk continued:

In this century, sexual revolutionaries are litigating and legislating to remove the fourth and final pillar of marriage law: sexual difference and complementarity. The campaigns for same-sex "marriage" and "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" (SOGI) legislation share a common legal theory: Rules predicated on the sexual difference and complementarity of man and woman are relics of a benighted legal regime designed to harm "LGBT" persons, or at least deny them "full equality." In the last same-sex "marriage" case, United States v. Windsor, the majority intimated that section three of the Defense of Marriage Act was motivated by a "bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular group."

But he didn't stop there! He also made sure to emphasize that he believes anti-LGBTQ discrimination is mandatory for Christians:

Consider the term "sexual orientation": Most Christian denominations delineate three separate categories for human sexuality: (1) attraction, (2) conduct and (3) marriage. Thinking the term "sexual orientation" refers to category (1) but not (2) or (3), many Christian denominations sincerely believe they do not discriminate on the basis of "sexual orientation."

If confirmed, Kacsmaryk will be the latest in a series of far-right ideologues Trump has appointed. As noted by the Huffington Post,

To date, the Senate has confirmed a total of two Supreme Court justices, 76 district judges and 41 circuit judges under Trump. That's more circuit judges than any president has gotten through by this point in a first term. It's so many that 1 in 5 of the nation's current circuit judges was nominated by Trump.

The damage Trump has already done to the federal judiciary will last for at least a generation, if not longer. And Mitch McConnell is determined to push as many of these nuts through as possible.

Gotta keep the straight, white patriarchy in place, right?

Kacsmaryk on discrimination against LGBTQ people

Regarding Obergefell v. Hodges, the case that finally gave use nationwide marriage equality, Kacsmaryk wrote:

On June 26, five justices of the Supreme Court found an unwritten 'fundamental right to same-sex marriage hiding in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment—a secret knowledge so cleverly concealed in the nineteenth-century amendment that it took almost 150 years to find.

In addition to opposing marriage equality, Kacsmaryk is a fan of basically all forms of discrimination against LGBTQ people.

In 2014, Kacsmaryk described President Obama's executive order banning federal contractors from engaging in anti-LGBTQ employment discrimination as putting "sexual revolution fundamentalism over the sincerely-held religious beliefs of Americans." He also believes including protections for LGBTQ people in the Violence Against Women Act was "a grave mistake."

At the First Liberty Institute, Kacsmaryk defended a Mississippi law allowing businesses and government employees to discriminate against LGBTQ people and participated in a challenge to the contraception mandate in the ACA. He has also made it clear that he doesn't think married LGBTQ couples should be able to adopt or foster children, believes employment discrimination against LGBTQ people should be legal, and supports conversion therapy.

Kacsmaryk opposes the Equality Act, a bill that would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the Civil Rights Act and prohibit discrimination and harassment of LGBTQ people. He dubbed it the "Inequality Act" and argued:

The Equality Act seeks to weaponize Obergefell, moving with lightning speed from a contentious five-to-four victory on same-sex marriage to a nationwide rule that "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" are privileged classes that give no quarter to Americans who continue to believe and seek to exercise their millennia-old religious belief that marriage and sexual relations are reserved to the union of one man and one woman.

Discrimination against LGBTQ people in areas like employment, housing, and public accommodations remains legal in 26 states.

Kacsmaryk on transgender people

If Kacsmaryk likes discrimination against LGB people, he loves discrimination against the T's. He has called the very existence of transgender people "problematic" and believes transgender people suffer from "delusion" and "confusion."

Kacsmaryk doesn't think transgender people deserve medical care. As noted by the National Center for Transgender Equality,

Kacsmaryk completely denies the consensus of the medical world that transition-related medical care is proven, necessary, and sometimes life-saving. Instead, he says these treatments, which have been supported by every major medical association based on decades of research, "are not properly viewed as health care" but instead as "bad medicine" that "mutilates the body." He quotes quack "experts" saying that providing medical treatment to transgender people is "to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder." Kacsmaryk's public statements virtually endorse the debunked and dangerous practice of conversion therapy.

Kacsmaryk on reproductive rights

Like a lot of the white men Donald Trump has nominated to be judges in the United States of America, Kacsmaryk is not a fan of women having control of their reproductive systems.

Kacsmaryk was involved in several cases challenging the ACA's contraception mandate. He apparently believes all sperm are sacred (either that, or he doesn't understand how birth control works), because he said that a victory in those cases would "defend unborn human life."

Here's how Kacsmaryk sarcastically described Roe v. Wade:

On January 22, 1973, seven justices of the Supreme Court found an unwritten 'fundamental right' to abortion hiding in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the shadowy 'penumbras' of the Bill of Rights, a celestial phenomenon invisible to the non-lawyer eye.

So that's great. What now?

Yesterday, the Senate voted 52-44 to allow Kacsmaryk's nomination to move to the floor. A final confirmation vote could happen as soon as today.

Senate Democrats stood united against Kacsmaryk, with many noting the dark irony of his confirmation coming during Pride Month.

Amazingly, Kacsmaryk is such an extreme bigot that even Maine's favorite hypocrite, Susan Collins, opposes his nomination. (But Brett Kavanaugh being on the Supreme Court for the rest of his life is totally fine.)

Unfortunately, Republicans still hold the Senate, and other "moderate" Republican Senators, like Alaska's Lisa Murkowski, voted to advance Kacsmaryk.

Unless something major happens soon, it looks like the Northern District of Texas is about to include a judge who thinks transgender people are deluded, anti-LGBTQ discrimination is necessary, and birth control is the same thing as abortion.

Another proud day for America.

[ Texas Observer / Vetting Room / Huff PostNat'l Catholic Register / Public Discourse ]

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Jamie Lynn Crofts
Jamie Lynn Crofts is sick of your bullshit. When she’s not wrangling cats, she’s probably writing about nerdy legal stuff, rocking out at karaoke, or tweeting about god knows what. Jamie would kindly like to remind everyone that it’s perfectly legal to tell Bob Murray to eat shit.

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