Inside Look: Matthew Kacsmaryk Sworn In to the Federal Bench By Fifth Circuit Judge, James C. Ho

July 5, 2019
Taking the Oath | First Liberty

by Jared Besse • 5 min read

Earlier this week, Judge James C. Ho of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit swore in Matthew Kacsmaryk as a judge to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

Matthew, a former Deputy General Counsel at First Liberty Institute, is a true originalist with a stellar record, and someone who will be committed to applying the Constitution according to its original meaning and intent.

Without a doubt, he will be another great addition to the record number of principled, conservative judges nominated by the President, who now fill approximately 14% of America’s federal courts.

Matthew takes a special place in history, as he is the first judge to ever go directly from a nonprofit religious liberty law firm to the federal bench.

A few days ago, we had the opportunity to be with Matthew during his confirmation ceremony, and we wanted to share with you a special moment, a look into two of the brightest legal minds and most passionate advocates of religious liberty in the country.

With Matthew confirmed to the bench, there are now judges at every level in the federal judiciary who have worked on or advocated for religious liberty at some point in their legal career.

In addition to Matthew, here are some of the men and women who’ve defended religious liberty for all:

  • Brett Kavanaugh, now a Supreme Court Justice, donated his time to work on a case with Kelly Shackelford and Jay Sekulow (American Center for Law & Justice).
  • James C. Ho on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit was previously one the most active network attorneys for First Liberty Institute.
  • Kyle Duncan, also on the Fifth Circuit, was previously General Counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a respected firm who defends American’s First Amendment rights.
  • Allison Rushing who serves on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit interned early in her career for Alliance Defending Freedom, another allied organization committed to the defense of our constitutional rights.

But since the beginning of the current administration, the President and his team recognized the importance of judges who protect the rights and freedom of Americans, as well as the heritage and history of our nation. That’s why they’ve continued to make it a top priority to nominate the best legal minds in the country to serve on our federal courts.

Not only have they nominated and confirmed judges with exceptional legal résumés, they’ve also ensured to put forth nominees who have a proven record of interpreting the original intent and text of the Constitution. Many of these judges previously gave their time and used their legal talent to defend religious liberty.

The impact of having these judges on the bench cannot be overstated.

We’re already seeing them have a profound and generational effect, especially as it relates to safeguarding religious freedom for all Americans. For example, without Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, the historic Supreme Court victory in the Bladensburg Peace Cross case may not have been as sweeping as it was.

Although there’s been tremendous success in the confirmation of conservative judges, the opposition has been strong—and they are not relenting. Matthew is one of numerous other judicial nominees who’ve faced intense questioning from left-leaning Senators because of their work on religious liberty. Because many of them have fought to protect Americans who live out their faith, they’ve been slandered in the press.

We must continue to provide the administration with top-notch legal research and analysis so that the President can keep on nominating great judges like the ones above. And as part of that effort, we must also urge the Senate to speed up confirmations and to fill the nearly 130 judicial seats that remain vacant.

It’s clear that to protect religious freedom for America’s next generation, we need more originalists and principled proponents of religious freedom on our federal courts.

Join First Liberty’s efforts to get more conservative judges confirmed who will protect religious freedom as written in the Constitution.

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