Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Meanwhile, in the Senate Judiciary Committee . . .

ACLU Voting Rights Project director Dale Ho speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., December 1, 2021. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)

On Wednesday morning, while all eyes were focused on the Supreme Court and oral argument in Dobbs, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on several of President Biden’s judicial nominations. Among the nominees the SJC considered Wednesday was Southern District of New York nominee Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, and arguably President Biden’s most controversial judicial nominee to date. As The Hill reports, Senate Republicans are targeting Ho, although they may not have the votes to keep him of a federal district court in New York.

At the hearing Senate Republicans grilled Ho on his prior activism and political statements, including numerous tweets and other comments sharply critical of Republican Senators. See, for instance, this exchange with Senator Kennedy, in which Ho struggles to evade the Senator’s questions. Senator Kennedy repeatedly asked Ho whether he meant what he said, or whether he had a practice of tweeting things he does not believe. Ho apologized for his “overheated” tweets, but his assurances that  he nonetheless has a judicial temperament did not seem to convince the committee’s Republicans. The full hearing video is here. (Tip: If you hope to be a federal judge some day, it’s best not to tweet nasty things about members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.)

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.


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