The Trump administration, with the help of the U.S. Senate, is continuing its crusade to reshape the nation's federal courts—by appointing one of its most anti-LGBTQ judges yet. The Senate officially confirmed Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas Wednesday, in a vote of 52-46. The only one to break party lines with their vote was Republican Sen. Susan Collins, who cited Kacsmaryk's “alarming bias against LGBTQ Americans and disregard for Supreme Court precedents” in her decision to vote against his appointment.
Indeed, one look at Kacsmaryk's legal record makes this “alarming bias” abundantly clear. The now-federal judge has fought against numerous LGBTQ protections, signed on to a letter that called being transgender a “delusion,” criticized the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, and represented an Oregon bakery that refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In a 2015 article, Kacsmaryk decried the Equality Act as punishing those who “exercise their millennia-old religious belief that marriage and sexual relations are reserved to the union of one man and one woman,” and described the fight for LGBTQ rights as part of a broader “Sexual Revolution” that “sought public affirmation of the lie that the human person is an autonomous blob of Silly Putty unconstrained by nature or biology.”
And Kacsmaryk's record on reproductive rights isn't any better. Kacsmaryk, who previously served as the deputy counsel for the Christian advocacy group First Liberty Institute, opposed the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act and wrote an amicus brief opposing a Washington law that would require pharmacies to provide birth control. In his 2015 article, the then-lawyer described the passage of Roe v. Wade as “seven justices of the Supreme Court [finding] 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.” Kacsmaryk then claimed “the unwritten constitutional right to abortion collides with written constitutional rights to speech, association, assembly, and religion.”