WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate confirmed Matthew Kacsmaryk to the federal court in Northern Texas on Wednesday.
His nomination had been condemned by civil rights groups because of his extreme anti-LGBTQ views, the Washington Post reported. He was confirmed in a 52 to 46 vote. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was the only Republican to vote against him.
From the Washington Post:
“Mr. Kacsmaryk has demonstrated a hostility to the LGBTQ bordering on paranoia,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said before the vote. “It’s unbelievable that this man has been nominated, and he’s not alone. The parade of narrow-minded, often bigoted people who we’re putting on the bench. . . . One Republican senator rightfully voiced concerns about this man’s fitness. Where are the others?”
Collins, in a statement last week announcing her intention to vote “no,” said Kacsmaryk’s “extreme statements” on LGBTQ and reproductive rights issues “reflect poorly on Mr. Kacsmaryk’s temperament and suggest an inability to respect precedent and to apply the law fairly and impartially.”
While Collins, who had angered LGBTQ and women’s rights groups with her vote for Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, sided with them this time, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), another ally of those groups who voted against Kavanaugh, did not.
Murkowski’s office did not return a request for comment about her vote for Kacsmaryk.
The LGBTQ grops condemned the vote.
“Matthew Kacsmaryk is among the most anti-LGBTQ judicial nominees put forward by the Trump-Pence administration,” says Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “He has a long history of virulently anti-LGBTQ opinions and positions — including his deeply disturbing opposition to same-sex marriage, his vocal hostility towards legal protections for gender identity and sexual orientation, and his shocking refusal to recognize the basic humanity of transgender people. Kacsmaryk fails the basic expectation of impartiality and commitment to equality under the law that we demand of every member of the bench. The Human Rights Campaign will continue to raise the alarm about Kacsmaryk and future nominees who refuse to protect the rights of all Americans.”
“Today the U.S. Senate did further damage to our federal judiciary by confirming Matthew Kacsmaryk, yet another anti-LGBT extremist who cannot be trusted to administer fair and impartial justice to the LGBT community, or anyone who does not align with his extreme views about gender and sexuality,” said Sharon McGowan, Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Director at Lambda Legal. “In confirming Kacsmaryk, the Senate has given a lifetime appointment to a nominee who has denounced efforts to secure full formal and lived equality for LGBT people as part of a dangerous ‘sexual revolution’ and who has disparaged transgender people as ‘delusional.’ Kacsmaryk’s extensive record of anti-LGBT animus should have been disqualifying, as no reasonable person can believe that LGBT Americans will receive equal justice in his courtroom.”