Let’s Look at Senator Josh Hawley’s Connections to the Abortion Pill Case

Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk donated to Hawley's campaign in 2018, but that donation went missing from Open Secrets. Hawley's wife represents the plaintiffs.

Let’s Look at Senator Josh Hawley’s Connections to the Abortion Pill Case
Photo:Getty/Fair Use (Getty Images)

The Supreme Court is set to weigh in on an abortion pill lawsuit sometime on Friday, and we are in this position thanks to an anti-abortion group plopping a case in the lap of a rogue, Christian activist judge who sided with them as planned.

We already know that Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk has ties to the conservative Federalist Society, which helped bring down Roe v. Wade, but he also has connections to one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs: Erin Morrow Hawley is a lawyer at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and is representing the anti-abortion groups in the lawsuit. Erin is the wife of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). Kacsmaryk donated $500 to Hawley’s campaign in March 2018.

Screenshot:FEC (Fair Use)

Vanity Fair previously reported the donation, citing the database Open Secrets. As of Friday morning, the Open Secrets link showed 12 donations from Kacsmaryk, none of which are to Hawley. But an archived link captured on March 30 of this year lists 13 donations, including the $500 to Hawley from March 2018. The donation disappeared sometime between then and now. When reached for comment, Open Secrets told Jezebel that the donation had been restored on Friday afternoon. “During a routine data update operation earlier this week, records from earlier election cycles in the OpenSecrets database were inadvertently excluded from data searches from our website, including the Kacsmaryk donation [to Hawley],” a spokesperson said. “We have updated the website.”

Kacsmaryk’s Open Secrets page now shows 14 donations, including an additional July 2012 gift to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). All told, Kacsmaryk has donated $2,000 to groups associated with Cruz, and $250 to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Lucas Kunce, a Democrat challenging Hawley in his re-election campaign, highlighted Thursday how the judge’s connections go even further, with Hawley joining a Supreme Court brief in his capacity as a senator in support of his wife’s case.

Let’s break down the timeline:

Trump nominates Kacsmaryk to the federal bench in 2017, but it goes nowhere. In 2018, Kacsmaryk donates $500 to Hawley, a fellow Federalist Society member. Hawley is sworn in as a Senator in early 2019 and votes to confirm Kacsmaryk in June 2019 (the vote was 52 to 46). A few months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe, activists represented by ADF file the abortion pill suit in Kacsmaryk’s single-judge district. Hawley’s wife is part of the ADF team to argue the case before Kacsmaryk in March 2023. Kacsmaryk then rules in favor of Hawley’s wife. And, finally, Hawley signs on to a Supreme Court amicus brief supporting his wife’s case this week.

“The facts speak for themselves,” Kunce said in a statement to Jezebel. “These corrupt hacks think nobody knows what they’re up to. And even when we call them out, they think they can get away with it. That Judge is still on the bench. Same with Justice Thomas. There’s no accountability and therefore, no faith.”

Hawley’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

We’re still in a news cycle about how Justice Clarence Thomas didn’t report hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel from a billionaire GOP donor and that the same donor bought the house where Thomas’s mother lives for much more than it’s worth.

As I’ve already explained, nothing is on the level about this abortion pill lawsuit, and yet here we are, waiting to hear what the corrupted conservative majority on the Supreme Court thinks about it.

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