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On the floor of the Senate, Senator Murray denounced President Trump’s nomination of Matthew Kacsmaryk to a federal judgeship 

Kacsmaryk has a history of targeting vulnerable communities, including fighting tooth and nail against LGBTQIA+ protections

Kacsmaryk also has also been a fervent crusader against women’s reproductive rights, including access to birth control 

Senator Murray: “Mr. Kacsmaryk is another example of an extreme choice by President Trump to jam courts with individuals who will put their political views above the law and use their positions of power to chip away at people’s rights”

Senator Murray: “I’ve been so inspired by the people around the country who are speaking up and taking a stand against these extreme views”

***VIDEO OF FULL SPEECH AVAILABLE HERE***

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, in a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) took a stand for women and LGBTQIA+ people in Washington state and across the country, urging her colleagues to reject Matthew Kacsmaryk’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, and citing Kacsmaryk’s extreme and hateful views on LGBTQIA+ rights and his record of fighting to strip women of their reproductive rights. Kacsmaryk has called being transgender “a delusion,” and has argued that businesses and landlords should be able to discriminate against LGBTQIA+ individuals. Kacsmaryk has also questioned the legality of state bans on harmful conversion therapy, and has argued that employers should be able to interfere in a woman’s ability to make her own health care decisions. Senator Murray concluded her speech by highlighting the crucial work that millions across the country have done to fight the Republicans’ consistent attacks on women’s reproductive rights, and urged her Senate colleagues to oppose the Kacsmaryk’s nomination.

Key excerpts:

“Mr. Kacsmaryk is another example of an extreme choice by President Trump to jam courts with individuals who will put their political views above the law and use their positions of power to chip away at people’s rights.”

“Mr. Kacsmaryk not only opposes protections for transgender students—he has even argued that being transgender is a ‘delusion.’… not only are his views on nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity concerning, I’m also alarmed by his record as a fervent crusader against women’s reproductive rights—and for the far-right position that someone else’s ideology is more important than a woman’s ability to make her own personal medical decisions.”

“Under any other Administration this truly disturbing ideological track record would be alarming—unfortunately for President Trump and Vice President Pence, it appears to be a prerequisite.”

Watch Senator Murray’s speech HERE.

Read the full text of the Senator Murray’s speech:

“Thank you, M. President.

“I come to the floor today to oppose Matthew Kacsmaryk’s nomination to the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Texas.

“Mr. Kacsmaryk is another example of an extreme choice by President Trump to jam courts with individuals who will put their political views above the law and use their positions of power to chip away at people’s rights.

“Not only are Mr. Kacsmaryk’s views hateful and out of the mainstream, but his history of attacking vulnerable communities shows me that he will not be a fair and impartial judge.

“He has fought tooth and nail against any protections for LGBTQIA+ individuals—and has devoted his career to stripping this community of their fundamental rights.

“Mr. Kacsmaryk does not believe that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act includes sexual orientation and gender identity.

“He opposed the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell—which affirmed that same-sex couples have the right to marry under our Constitution.

“And he opposes the Equality Act. He believes this bill will ‘weaponize Obergefell.’

“The Equality Act builds on existing civil rights laws to expand anti-discrimination protections to ensure members of the LGBTQIA+ community cannot be fired or evicted from their homes, providing them with the same protections afforded to those who are discriminated against based on their race, religion, age, sex, and more.

“He believes health care providers should be able to discriminate against patients based on gender identity or sex stereotyping and he even supports discrimination against our children.

“Mr. Kacsmaryk not only opposes protections for transgender students—he has even argued that being transgender is a ‘delusion.’

“And he has questioned whether states can ban conversion therapy practices—which are dangerous, discredited by the medical community, and have led to depression and suicidal behavior in young people subjected to these practices.

“M. President—Mr. Kacsmaryk claims his hateful views have to do with religious liberty, but his own words show his true colors.

“When Republicans and Democrats in Utah agreed on employment and housing nondiscrimination protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation, Mr. Kacsmaryk opposed them—even as countless religious organizations supported the bill.

“Was religious liberty his main point of opposition?

“No. Instead he argued that businesses should be able to discriminate based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, because in his view, this community does not deserve the same protections as other communities who are often discriminated against.

“Mr. Kacsmaryk has said there is a ‘clash of absolutes’ between LGBTQIA+ rights and those who want to discriminate in the name of religious liberty.

“This is not a view of someone who can be impartial and fair.

“M. President—not only are his views on nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity concerning, I’m also alarmed by his record as a fervent crusader against women’s reproductive rights—and for the far-right position that someone else’s ideology is more important than a woman’s ability to make her own personal medical decisions.

“If Mr. Kacsmaryk’s arguments had won the day in court, a woman trying to get contraceptive care could face barriers thrown up by her employer, or even by her pharmacy, all because someone else thinks their beliefs matter more than a woman’s own personal decisions about her health. 

“Mr. Kacsmaryk’s extreme hostility to women’s reproductive rights is also on display in his writings outside of the court.

“Like when he wrote that the court cases affirming those rights—the historic rulings that have defended women’s access to birth control and their right to safe, legal abortion—were responsible for removing a ‘pillar of marriage law.’

“Under any other Administration this truly disturbing ideological track record would be alarming—unfortunately for President Trump and Vice President Pence, it appears to be a prerequisite.

“The Trump-Pence Administration has taken every opportunity to undermine women’s health and reproductive rights, and we’ve seen far-right Republicans across the country join them.

“From state legislators working to pass extreme, harmful abortion restrictions, to Republicans here in D.C. working to jam through extreme, harmful judicial nominees—like Mr. Kacsmaryk—who they hope will help uphold blatantly unconstitutional restrictions on a women’s right to safe, legal abortion and ultimately take away that right by overturning Roe v. Wade.

“But I’ve been so inspired by the people around the country who are speaking up and taking a stand against these extreme views, and if we keep making our voices heard—against this nominee and Republican efforts to undermine women’s reproductive rights more broadly—we can stop these attacks and ensure every woman has the ability to make her own decisions about her body.

“So, M. President—I urge my colleagues across the aisle to join us in rejecting this hateful nominee.

“Thank you, I yield the floor.” 

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