"Details about multimillion-dollar stock holding concealed in abortion pill judge’s financial disclosures" - CNN
"The federal judge who issued a nationwide ruling blocking the approval of a common abortion medication redacted key information on his legally mandated financial disclosures, in what legal experts described as an unusual move that conceals the bulk of his personal fortune.
Kacsmaryk reported owning about $2.9 million in stock in the Florida-based supermarket company Publix. It’s not clear whether that’s the same holding as the redacted stock, although Publix’s share price had significantly increased by 2020 and 2021 and the company is no longer listed on his more recent disclosures. In his 2020 and 2021 annual disclosures, Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk wrote that he held between $5 million and $25 million in “common stock” of a company – a significant majority of the judge’s personal wealth. The name of the company he held stock in is redacted, despite the fact that federal law only allows redactions of information that could “endanger” a judge or their family member." - CNN
Why did Kacsmaryk redact the name of the company (or companies) in which he owns $5-25 million worth of shares? Who was in the judicial committee that approved the redaction? Are his holdings in Publix? Why did Kacsmaryk not disclose his comments about contraceptives and LGBTQ during his confirmation hearings? What rulings has Kacsmaryk made after being confirmed? Is it right for nominees to conceal information that could hurt their judicial nomination? What is 'judge shopping'? Connect the dots for yourself with this relationship map.
Follow the money and relationships
Cannot dispense abortifacient drugs - As a lawyer for a conservative legal group, Matthew Kacsmaryk in early 2017 submitted an article to a Texas law review criticizing Obama-era protections for transgender people and those seeking abortions. The Obama administration, the draft article argued, had discounted religious physicians who “cannot use their scalpels to make female what God created male” and “cannot use their pens to prescribe or dispense abortifacient drugs designed to kill unborn children.”
Removing his name - But a few months after the piece arrived, an editor at the law journal who had been working with Kacsmaryk received an unusual email: Citing “reasons I may discuss at a later date,” Kacsmaryk, who had originally been listed as the article’s sole author, said he would be removing his name and replacing it with those of two colleagues at his legal group, First Liberty Institute, according to emails and early drafts obtained by The Washington Post. What Kacsmaryk did not say in the email was that he had already been interviewed for a judgeship by his state’s two senators and was awaiting an interview at the White House.
Ducking scrutiny - But one former review editor familiar with the events said there was no indication that Kacsmryk had been a “placeholder,” adding that this was the only time during their tenure at the law review that they ever saw author names swapped. The former editor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisal, provided emails and several drafts of the article.
The circumstances surrounding the article’s authorship raise questions about whether a judicial nominee was seeking to duck scrutiny from a process designed to ensure that judges are prepared to interpret the law without personal bias, said lawyers who worked on judicial nominations in Republican and Democratic administrations — speaking hypothetically and not specifically about Kacsmaryk.
A little shady - Adam H. Charnes, who worked on judicial nominations while the principal deputy in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy under President George W. Bush, said he would not have advised potential nominees to withdraw articles they had written or to publish them under others’ names. “I’m pretty sure the Senate would expect you to produce something like that,” Charnes said. The scenario “strikes me as problematic,” he said — and, he added, “a little shady.” - Washington Post
Connect the dots with this relationship map
Contraception and gay rights
CNN reported that Kacsmaryk failed to disclose during his Senate confirmation process two interviews in which he discussed contraception and gay rights. Kacsmaryk who first suspended the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the so-called abortion pill mifepristone failed to disclose during his Senate confirmation process two interviews on Christian talk radio where he discussed social issues such as contraception and gay rights.
In undisclosed radio interviews, Matthew Kacsmaryk referred to being gay as “a lifestyle” and expressed concerns that new norms for “people who experience same-sex attraction” would lead to clashes with religious institutions, calling it the latest in a change in sexual norms that began with “no-fault divorce” and “permissive policies on contraception.” Listen to the recording: Facebook / Recording on Box
Kacsmaryk, a Trump-appointed federal district judge, made the unreported comments in two appearances in 2014 on Chosen Generation, a radio show that offers “a biblical constitutional worldview.” At the time, Kacsmaryk was **deputy general counsel at First Liberty Institute, ** a nonprofit religious liberty advocacy group known before 2016 as the Liberty Institute, and was brought on to the radio show to discuss “the homosexual agenda” to silence churches and religious liberty, according to the show’s host. - CNN
Why has public confidence in the justice system plunged? Could it be tied to Republican court packing with extremist partisan judges?
TakeAway: Stop Republican court packing and right wing, partisan nominees concealing information to get nominated.
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