Matthew Kacsmaryk was confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday to a lifetime appointment as a federal judge even though he is seen by some as hostile toward abortion and LGBT rights. The confirmation vote was 52-46, with every Republican present except for Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) voting yes.
Kacsmaryk will serve as a U.S. District Court judge in the Northern District of Texas. Activists have protested against his nomination for more than a year because of what they call “extreme” views. He was the deputy general counsel for First Liberty Institute, a right-wing Christian advocacy group.
In 2016, Kacsmaryk signed a letter calling trandgender identification “delusional.” He also opposed so-called non-discrimination legislation that focused on LGBT rights.
He has also opposed laws requiring employers and pharmacists to provide contraception even when they have religious beliefs against it, including the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated that he didn’t know why anyone would think Kacsmaryk would be an impartial judge.
President Donald Trump has had two Supreme Court justices, 76 district judges and 41 circuit judges confirmed while he has been in office, which is more than any other president at this point in his first term. Currently, one in five district court judges now serving was appointed by Trump.
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