Texas judge in abortion pill case is a conservative favorite

by | Mar 17, 2023 | Religion

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Texas judge hearing a case that could throw into jeopardy access to the nation’s most common method of abortion is a former attorney for a Christian legal group who critics say is being sought out by conservative litigants because they believe he’ll be sympathetic to their causes.U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who’s considering a lawsuit aimed at putting a nationwide halt to use of the drug mifepristone, was appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed in 2019 over fierce opposition by Democrats over his history opposing LGBTQ rights. Mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone in the body and is used with the drug misoprostol to end pregnancy within the first 10 weeks.
Kacsmaryk heard arguments in the case on Wednesday, days after he took the unusual step of telling attorneys during a status conference not to publicize the hearing because the case has prompted death threats and protests and he believed “ less advertisement of this hearing is better.” Kacsmaryk said he would rule “as soon as possible.”
A former federal prosecutor and lawyer for the conservative First Liberty Institute, the judge has ruled against the Biden administration on other issues, including immigration. He was among more than 230 judges installed to the federal bench under Trump as part of a movement by the Republican president and Senate conservatives to shift the American judiciary to the right.
Interest groups have long attempted to file lawsuits before judges they see as friendly to their points of view. But the number of conservative lawsuits filed in Kacsmaryk’s Amarillo courthouse — where he is assigned all new cases as the sole district court judge — has spawned accusations that right-wing plaintiffs are seeking him out because they know he’s likely to side with them.
“Why are all these cases being brought in Amarillo if the litigants who are bringing them are so confident in the strength of their claims? It …

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