‘Among President Biden’s Best Judicial Nominations’: Bipartisan Group of Experts Heap Praise on Voting Rights Champion Dale Ho In Advance of Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

With the Senate Judiciary Committee considering the judicial nomination of voting rights expert Dale Ho today, civil rights leaders, academics, and litigators are celebrating the nomination of a highly qualified nominee who would bring fresh experience to our legal system.

Ho, one of the country’s leading experts on election law and a career civil rights lawyer, was recommended by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and nominated by President Biden, a major step in their shared effort to upend the conventional wisdom that former prosecutors and corporate lawyers should be favored for the federal bench.

Right-wing groups tied to voter suppression schemes in states across the country have already previewed that Republicans will trot out the same tired criticisms they unsuccessfully deployed against other Biden nominees of color with a history of championing civil rights such as Vanita Gupta, Kristen Clarke, and Myrna Pérez.

Meanwhile, legal experts from across the ideological spectrum have heaped praise on Ho’s qualifications, temperament, and brilliance. Here’s what they’re saying: 

“All of us believe in protecting the franchise for supporters of both political parties. We know from our experiences with Dale and from his actions that he shares this value. He has represented GOP clients in Texas and worked to oppose an unconstitutional Democratic gerrymander in Maryland; in all his cases he has toiled to ensure that everyone counts in our democracy. … Dale is one of the leading appellate attorneys of his generation. … Dale is a seasoned, top-flight, trial lawyer. … Despite all his success, Dale is down-to-earth, humble, and approachable. “ — more than two-dozen scholars and teachers of election law

“Ho’s professionalism, commitment to the rule of law, voting rights expertise, and experience as a trial lawyer make him uniquely well-qualified to serve on the federal bench.” — Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund

“Dale Ho will be a superb federal judge. This is among President Biden’s best judicial nominations.” — Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School

“Dale is a fine lawyer with an excellent legal mind … Courtesy to everyone is a hallmark of Dale’s character. … I strongly support Dale’s candidacy for the bench.” — Robert Smith, Republican-appointed Judge of the New York Court of Appeals until 2014

“The country deserves federal judges of the highest caliber who will attend to the matters and litigants before them with integrity and humility. … [Ho] would be exactly this type of judge. … [He] will apply the laws and precedents of the United States fairly and objectively.” — A bipartisan group of more than 90 of Ho’s Yale Law School classmates, including Republican-appointed Texas Supreme Court Justice Jimmy Blacklock

“Dale has every tool required to tackle the range of civil and criminal cases traditionally brought in the Southern District of New York. … Dale’s combination of compassion and commitment to legal excellence will make him a fair and exemplary jurist.” — more than 40 legal practitioners, including Republican Supreme Court litigator Carter Phillips

“Mr. Ho has shown himself consistently on the side of the voters, regardless of political party. He has defended Democrats, Republicans, and independent voters to assure that they have fair access to the ballot and an election system free of bias and partisanship. …  He has the ideal temperament to be a federal judge.” — Richard Hasen, Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at University of California Irvine School of Law, leading election law expert

“Mr. Ho’s amicus engagement in the case, and his support of our plaintiffs, reflected a genuine concern for the rule of law, without regard for the politics of our plaintiffs. That sort of evenhandedness and impartiality—a principal focus on what the law demands regardless of the identity, position, or politics of the parties—is just the kind of perspective that makes for a great judge.” — Michael Kimberly, who litigated a partisan gerrymandering case on behalf of five registered Republican voters challenging Maryland’s 2011 congressional districting map

“He will make a superb judge and bring much-needed experiential and racial diversity to the federal bench.” — Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel of NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund

“One of the most impressive lawyers I’ve ever met.” — Chris Hayes

“Honestly, cannot think of a better nominee to be a trial judge.” — Danielle Lang, Voting Rights Director at the Campaign Legal Center

“Mr. Ho is eminently qualified and would make tremendous contributions to the administration of justice in the federal courts, as well as to the communities served by our judicial system.” — Priya Purandare, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

“As a supervisor and teacher, Dale taught us to explore all sides of a question, encouraging us to share diverse viewpoints. … We are confident that Dale Ho will make an exemplary federal judge. His intellect, temperament, and dedication to a career of public service in the law impressed us all and will be a great benefit to the litigants and parties.” — former students and interns

“Dale Ho is a genius, a mensch, and one of the greatest lawyers of our generation. This is an excellent choice.” — Mark Joseph Stern

“There’s pretty much no one better than [Dale Ho] to be a federal judge.” — Josh Douglas, Professor at University of Kentucky Rosenberg College of Law