Report: Matthew Kacsmaryk

Kacsmaryk is a right-wing extremist who has made a career out of dehumanizing LGBTQ people, debasing women, and assailing health care rights.


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From the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights:


LGBT Animus:  Mr. Kacsmaryk fundamentally disapproves of LGBT people.  In a 2015 op-ed, he wrote: “In this century, sexual revolutionaries are litigating and legislating to remove the fourth and final pillar of marriage law: sexual difference and complementarity….  The major and growing Abrahamic religious denominations – Catholic, Protestant, Jewish – share a binary view of the human person and human sexuality….  [T]he Catechism holds that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,’ ‘contrary to the natural law,’ and ‘do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.’”[1]


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In addition, Mr. Kacsmaryk expressed support for Mississippi’s draconian anti-LGBT law that has been called “the worst in the nation.”[6]  The law allows businesses and government officials with religious objections to refuse to serve LGBT couples and individuals.  When the Mississippi law was struck down by a federal judge, Mr. Kacsmaryk stated: “If his logic holds, it calls into question the entire category of conscience protections for religious dissenters, and that’s just not the American tradition.  That just cannot be right.  We have this robust tradition of accommodating religious dissent.”[7]  The Fifth Circuit overturned the district judge’s decision on standing grounds.


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In addition, Mr. Kacsmaryk filed briefs in opposition to the efforts of Gavin Grimm to use school bathrooms that corresponded with his gender identity.  In one brief, Mr. Kacsmaryk argued: “[T]he term ‘sex’ in Title IX must not be read to include gender identity. Congress has rejected attempts to modify civil rights statutes to include gender identity, and could reverse course at any time to provide a clear statement that lawmakers intend to press what would be the consequent constitutional issues.”[13]  Given his hostile remarks, it is hard to imagine transgender individuals would have confidence that they would receive a fair hearing from Mr. Kacsmaryk if he is confirmed as a federal judge.


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Mr. Kacsmaryk has also been highly critical of the right to reproductive freedom.  He wrote: “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….  But Roe did not resolve the fierce controversy of abortion.  Instead, sexual revolutionaries suffered loss after loss when they rammed Roe into state and municipal policies restricting public funds or forced participation in the ‘fundamental right’ of abortion.”[18]  Embracing the rhetoric of the far right, he has stated: “Today, pro-abortion and pro-life adversaries continue to litigate the points where the unwritten constitutional right to abortion collides with written constitutional rights to speech, association, assembly, and religion.”[19]  His record demonstrates that Mr. Kacsmaryk could not be fair and impartial in cases involving reproductive freedom.



From Lambda Legal:


But perhaps even more than the cases that he has litigated, Mr. Kacsmaryk’s personal writings reveal the depths of his antipathy toward legal equality for LGBT people and other populations that depend on the federal judiciary. For example, Mr. Kacsmaryk disparages the LGBT movement in a section of an article entitled, “The Long War Ahead.” Mr. Kacsmaryk characterizes efforts to achieve LGBT civil rights as seeking “public affirmation of the lie that the human person is an autonomous blob of Silly Putty unconstrained by nature or biology, and that marriage, sexuality, gender identity, and even the unborn child must yield to the erotic desires of liberated adults.”5


Mr. Kacsmaryk has also publicly disparaged the nondiscrimination regulation promulgated by the Department of Health and Human Services protecting transgender people from health care discrimination, as “imposition of a different morality via administrative regulation.” Decrying the regulation as “not diversity but displacement,” Mr. Kacsmaryk couched his opposition in global terms about the perniciousness of the “sexual revolution,” insisting that HHS’s regulations demand that “you must constantly affirm the sexual revolutionary view of the human person or you will be on the wrong side of federal law.”6 In a separate article, Mr. Kacsmaryk denigrates as “problematic” the very idea of gender identity, notwithstanding the fact that gender identity is recognized as a core aspect of human identity by major medical and mental health associations.7


Our concern is not just about Mr. Kacsmaryk’s extremist views and willingness to gut landmark decisions that form the basis of all protection for LGBT people. Our concern goes further than that. Mr. Kacsmaryk has challenged LGBT peoples’ right to form families at all, and argued that the families that they have formed are less legitimate than other families. He has denied in some cases that LGBT people really exist. His record reveals that he will be incapable of treating LGBT litigants fairly—no matter what body of law is at issue in the cases over which he may preside—because he does not acknowledge LGBT people as having a right to exist. Matthew Kacsmaryk is not the kind of judge that this country wants, needs or deserves. We strongly urge you to reject his nomination.



The background report on Matthew Kacsmaryk from the Alliance for Justice is here.



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