As Americans await a ruling in the most publicized abortion case since Dobbs vs. Jackson, the Amarillo federal judge in charge of the case faces hostile media scrutiny.
Since the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine brought its suit against the FDA, U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk has been described as a “rogue federal judge,” “an anti-LGBTQ+ extremist,” a “devout Christian” (not in a flattering way), “narrow-minded,” and “bigoted.”
Kacsmaryk was appointed by President Donald J. Trump and confirmed in June 2019. Only one Republican, Senator Susan Collins, R-ME, broke ranks to join every Democratic Senator in opposing his nomination. She accused Kacsmaryk of making “extreme statements” about LGBT ideology and abortion that “reflect poorly on [his] temperament and suggest an inability to respect precedent and to apply the law fairly and impartially.”
Leftist activists are particularly anxious to call Kacsmaryk’s impartiality into question because the FDA case carries far-reaching implications. Many have characterized the Texas case as “bigger than Dobbs,” claiming it could outlaw the chemical abortion drug mifepristone nationwide.
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The case does have far-ranging implications, because ADF is requesting that the court set aside the FDA’s approval of mifepristone and misoprostol for chemical abortion purposes. “At the same time,” ADF senior counsel Erik Baptist told CatholicVote, “it’s a reasonable [ask], because the FDA, from beginning to end, has failed to follow the plain requirements of the law.”
The Guttmacher Institute, the research arm for Planned Parenthood, recently confirmed that over half of all abortions in the United States are induced using the drug.
Judge Kacsmaryk is a Texas native who graduated summa cum laude from Abilene Christian University in 1999. He studied at the University of Texas Law School, where he graduated with honors in 2003. After several years in private practice, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the northern district of Texas.
His critics often cite his five year stint as deputy counsel for First Liberty Institute as proof of his activist leanings. First Liberty is a law firm focused on religious freedom cases and has been a part of landmark wins, including a 2019 Supreme Court ruling that preserved the 100-year old Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial’s stone cross.
During Kacsmaryk’s time at First Liberty, the firm represented religious minorities such as the Islamic Association of Collin County and Agudath Israel of America against unlawful discrimination by local government officials and special interest groups.
Pro-abortion media outlets such as Vanity Fair and Vox also cite Kacsmaryk’s 2015 articles on same-sex marriage and the Equality Act written in response to the Obergefell Supreme Court hearings and decision that imposed same-sex civil marriage in all 50 states.
In June 2015, Kacsmaryk published a piece in The National Catholic Register, “The Abolition of Man… and Woman,” in which he argued that “sexual revolutionaries are litigating and legislating to remove the fourth and final pillar of marriage law: sexual difference and complementarity.”
The article goes on to offer a carefully documented account of the “clash of absolutes”: the Judeo-Christian belief that marriage is between one man and one woman pitted against the genderless view of marriage promulgated by LGBT activists. He offers a scholarly analysis of the lack of shared vocabulary between the two sides, as well as a breakdown of various faith-based organizations at risk of litigation after Obergefell.
In the September 2015 issue of Public Discourse, Kacsmaryk warned that the deceptively titled “Equality Act” was an overt attempt 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.
“A fair overview of Judge Kacsmaryk’s career and writing shows him to be a convicted Christian and capable intellect devoted to the rights enumerated in the United States Constitution,” remarked CatholicVote’s Tom McClusky.
“The real issue here isn’t that he’s somehow an ‘activist judge.’ The issue is that these leftist media outlets don’t believe faithful Catholics or Christians belong in the United States justice system at all.”
LifeNews Note: Erika Ahern writes for CatholicVote, where this column originally appeared.