Matthew J. Kacsmaryk’s Nomination to the Northern District is Generating Controversy

The second time should be a charm for Karen Scholer. Kacsmaryk's chances aren't as clear.

Matthew Kacsmaryk, Deputy General Counsel for the Plano-based First Liberty Institute

Editor’s note: the White House has now indicated that it will no longer proceed with the nomination of Jeff Mateer. And thanks to a comment, I have corrected my marital status below.

On September 7, 2017, President Trump announced his nomination of 16 individuals to Federal judgeships, including two on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas: Matthew J. Kacsmaryk, to be based in Amarillo, and Karen Gren Scholer, to be based in Dallas. Scholer, a former state district judge and current principal at Carter Scholer, was originally nominated by President Barack Obama in 2016 to fill a vacancy in the Eastern District, but the nomination was stonewalled by the GOP despite support from Texas Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. She seems likely to be confirmed this go-round, now that the nomination came from the ruling side of the aisle. Kacsmaryk, on the other hand, has been generating some controversy. The Committee on the Judiciary was scheduled to hold hearings to examine his nomination today.

Kacsmaryk previously was an associate in the Dallas office of Baker Botts and currently serves as the Deputy General Counsel to the Plano-based First Liberty Institute, a conservative law firm focused on filing religious liberty cases (Jeff Mateer, a current nominee for the Eastern District in Sherman, also worked for the First Liberty Institute and was blasted yesterday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley for calling transgender children part of “Satan’s plan,” among other things). Kacsmaryk’s highlight reel includes a 2015 article for the Witherspoon Institute titled, “The Inequality Act: Weaponizing Same-Sex Marriage.” I will give him credit for the creative, albeit cutesy, use of That ’70s Show as a section header. But I will point out that in the following excerpt, while arguing that interracial marriage (which he views as acceptable) is not analogous to same sex marriage (which he views as an abomination), he 1) confuses “former” and “latter,” and 2) sides with Napoleon. I leave all other conclusions to you. Full disclosure: I am gay and married.

“[D]espite repeated attempts to meld the two into one ‘right side of history’ campaign, the Sexual Revolution is not the Civil Rights Movement. Both started in the post-war boom and gained ground in the social upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s, but they share almost nothing else in common. They have different origins, different leaders, different objectives, and different legacies.

The former was rooted in the soil of the uniquely American Judeo-Christian tradition, spearheaded by Christian leaders, and was essentially ‘moderate’ in its demands. It sought the restoration of civil rights won in the Civil War and ratified in the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, with additional, necessary protections for the mediating institutions essential to the African-American community: family, home, church, school, and business. In this way, the Civil Rights Movement was like the American Revolution, seeking to restore rather than destroy.

The latter was rooted in the soil of elitist postmodern philosophy, spearheaded by secular libertines, and was essentially ‘radical’ in its demands. It sought 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. In this way, the Sexual Revolution was more like the French Revolution, seeking to destroy rather than restore.”


  • Mavdog

    Kacsmaryk’s writing shows that he is unqualified to serve as a Federal Judge due to his failure to support equal treatment of citizens under the law.

  • bmslaw

    Kathy Wise: You are NOT gay married. You are married. Period.

    • Kathy Wise

      Point taken, bmslaw.

  • Brenda Marks

    He’s written himself out of contention. But I’m afraid the current Senate will pass him through anyway. My condolences to the people of Amarillo.

  • Brenda Marks

    He’s written himself out of contention. But I’m afraid the current Senate will pass him through anyway. My condolences to the people of Amarillo.

  • Greg Brown

    I had no idea I was an elitist post-modern libertine, but I kinda like the sound of it.

  • Adam Loewy

    I have known Matt since we were in the same class at UT Law. He has always been very smart and very conservative. While I disagree with a lot of his views, he is absolutely qualified to be a Federal Judge. The cited excerpt in no way disqualifies him.

    • Ryan Bangert

      I wholeheartedly agree that Matt is qualified. I practiced with him at Baker Botts and can vouch for his sharp intellect and outstanding legal skills. He’s also humane, empathetic, and fair-minded. He’ll make a great judge.