Person

Dale Ho

Born:

1977

Nationality:

American

Occupation:

Lawyer

Dale Ho is a left-of-center attorney who specializes in voting rights cases. As of March 2022, he is a nominee for a U.S. district judgeship.

As director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) Voting Rights Project, Ho has argued against requiring proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. Ho has also argued against including a citizenship question on the U.S. Census and fought to include illegal immigrants in the Congressional apportionment process. [1]

Ho has drawn controversy for his views on the structure of the U.S. government. In a 2018 speech, Ho complained that the Electoral College and the U.S. Senate were “undemocratic.” In the same speech, he called for allowing felons to vote. [2] Ho has also drawn controversy for his conduct on social media. During his judicial confirmation hearing, he apologized for Tweets that included attacks on Republican Senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee. [3]

Early Life

Dale Ho was born in 1977 in San Jose, California. He attended Princeton University, receiving a bachelor’s degree and graduating summa cum laude. He then attended Yale Law School. [4]

He began his legal career in 1999, working for the New York County District Attorney’s Office as a paralegal. In spring 2004, he interned for the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project. In summer 2004, he interned for the Southern Center for Human Rights. [5]

Beginning in 2005, Ho worked as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones. [6]

In 2009, he worked as an assistant counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund. In 2013, he left and joined the ACLU, becoming director of its Voting Rights Project. [7]

Voting Advocacy

In 2018, Ho sued the state of Kansas over its requirement to provide proof of citizenship to register to vote, the only such requirement in the country in force at the time. The law was declared unconstitutional by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in April 2020, affirming an earlier trial court decision. In December 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case. [8]

In 2019, Ho argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court over the Trump administration’s decision to ask a citizenship question on the U.S. Census, winning the case. [9]

In 2020, Ho argued a case before the U.S. Supreme Court over the Trump administration’s decision to exclude illegal immigrants from the U.S. Census-based Congressional reapportionment process. Ho lost the case on a procedural issue in a 6-3 decision. However, the Biden administration reversed the Trump administration’s policy. [10]

Nomination To Federal Judgeship

In September 2021, Ho was nominated by President Joe Biden to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He was hailed by a left-progressive group as “democracy’s lawyer.” [11]

Ho drew criticism from Republicans for his views on the Constitution and his social media activity. A video from 2018 surfaced that showed him denouncing the Electoral College and the U.S. Senate as undemocratic. The video also showed Ho expressing support for allowing felons to vote. [12]

Ho also apologized to Republican Senators for his conduct on social media. He had attacked some Senate Republicans personally on Twitter. [13]

In another tweet, Ho lamented that Republicans were relying on a Supreme Court majority to hold power. He also said that “Electoral College, Senate malapportionment, and extreme gerrymandering” were not enough for the GOP. [14] Remarks also surfaced in 2015 in which Ho compared voter identification requirements to chemotherapy. [15]

Ho’s nomination deadlocked in an 11-11 tie in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and as of March 2022 is waiting on a discharge petition to allow his nomination to be considered by the full Senate. [16]

References

  1. Kalmbacher, Colin. “Biden Nominates ACLU Voting Rights Head To Federal Judgeship In New York; Progressives Praise Choice Of ‘Democracy’s Lawyer.’“ Law & Crime. Sept. 30, 2020. https://lawandcrime.com/judiciary/biden-nominates-aclu-voting-rights-head-to-federal-judgeship-in-new-york-progressives-praise-choice-of-democracys-lawyer/. ^
  2. Lee, Michael. “Video Shows Biden Judicial Nominee Dale Ho Attacking Senate, Electoral College: They Are ‘Anti-Democratic’.” Fox News. Dec. 15, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/video-shows-biden-judicial-nominee-dale-ho-attacking-senate-electoral-college-they-are-anti-democratic. ^
  3. Lee, Michael. “Video Shows Biden Judicial Nominee Dale Ho Attacking Senate, Electoral College: They Are ‘Anti-Democratic’.” Fox News. Dec. 15, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/video-shows-biden-judicial-nominee-dale-ho-attacking-senate-electoral-college-they-are-anti-democratic. ^
  4. Dale Ho’s U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Questionnaire. United States Senate. 2021. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Ho%20SJQ%20Public%20Final.pdf. ^
  5. Dale Ho’s U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Questionnaire. United States Senate. 2021. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Ho%20SJQ%20Public%20Final.pdf. ^
  6. Dale Ho’s U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Questionnaire. United States Senate. 2021. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Ho%20SJQ%20Public%20Final.pdf ^
  7. Dale Ho’s U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Questionnaire. United States Senate. 2021. https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Ho%20SJQ%20Public%20Final.pdf. ^
  8. ”Supreme Court Won’t Revive Kansas Voter Registration ID Law.” Associated Press. Dec. 14, 2020. https://apnews.com/article/donald-trump-kansas-voting-rights-elections-us-supreme-court-f12295c7870a94eb7749d94fa5e7019b. ^
  9. Kalmbacher, Colin. “Biden Nominates ACLU Voting Rights Head To Federal Judgeship In New York; Progressives Praise Choice Of ‘Democracy’s Lawyer.’“ Law & Crime. Sept. 30, 2020. https://lawandcrime.com/judiciary/biden-nominates-aclu-voting-rights-head-to-federal-judgeship-in-new-york-progressives-praise-choice-of-democracys-lawyer/. ^
  10. Kalmbacher, Colin. “Biden Nominates ACLU Voting Rights Head To Federal Judgeship In New York; Progressives Praise Choice Of ‘Democracy’s Lawyer.’“ Law & Crime. Sept. 30, 2020. https://lawandcrime.com/judiciary/biden-nominates-aclu-voting-rights-head-to-federal-judgeship-in-new-york-progressives-praise-choice-of-democracys-lawyer/. ^
  11. Kalmbacher, Colin. “Biden Nominates ACLU Voting Rights Head To Federal Judgeship In New York; Progressives Praise Choice Of ‘Democracy’s Lawyer.’“ Law & Crime. Sept. 30, 2020. https://lawandcrime.com/judiciary/biden-nominates-aclu-voting-rights-head-to-federal-judgeship-in-new-york-progressives-praise-choice-of-democracys-lawyer/. ^
  12. Lee, Michael. “Video Shows Biden Judicial Nominee Dale Ho Attacking Senate, Electoral College: They Are ‘Anti-Democratic’.” Fox News. Dec. 15, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/video-shows-biden-judicial-nominee-dale-ho-attacking-senate-electoral-college-they-are-anti-democratic. ^
  13. Lee, Michael. “Video Shows Biden Judicial Nominee Dale Ho Attacking Senate, Electoral College: They Are ‘Anti-Democratic’.” Fox News. Dec. 15, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/video-shows-biden-judicial-nominee-dale-ho-attacking-senate-electoral-college-they-are-anti-democratic. ^
  14. Lee, Michael. “Video Shows Biden Judicial Nominee Dale Ho Attacking Senate, Electoral College: They Are ‘Anti-Democratic’.” Fox News. Dec. 15, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/video-shows-biden-judicial-nominee-dale-ho-attacking-senate-electoral-college-they-are-anti-democratic. ^
  15. Lee, Michael. “Video Shows Biden Judicial Nominee Dale Ho Attacking Senate, Electoral College: They Are ‘Anti-Democratic’.” Fox News. Dec. 15, 2021. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/video-shows-biden-judicial-nominee-dale-ho-attacking-senate-electoral-college-they-are-anti-democratic. ^
  16. Raymond, Nate. 2022. “U.S. Senate Confirms 9Th Circuit Nominee; Panel Deadlocks On 3 Biden Judicial Picks.”  Reuters. Jan. 20, 2022. https://www.reuters.com/legal/government/us-senate-confirms-9th-circuit-nominee-panel-deadlocks-3-biden-judicial-picks-2022-01-20/. ^
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