Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today delivered remarks at the Senate Judiciary Committee introducing Dale Ho, his recommendation to be a District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Today, it is my honor to introduce a nominee for the District Court for the Southern District of New York: Dale Ho. He is an esteemed litigator and one of the foremost election lawyers in the country, whom I was so proud to recommend to President Biden.
Dale’s life, his family, and his career is a shining example of the American Dream. He is the grandson of a World War Two veteran. His parents grew up in the Philippines before immigrating to the US. Though Dale grew up in San Jose—which I hear is much nicer than DC this time of year—he was always keenly aware, even as a kid, where his parents came from, and frankly what they escaped from: a country where power rested not in the people but in the whims of one leader.
That thought, as Mr. Ho will tell you, was the spark that began his love for democracy and for democratic institutions, and today Dale sits before this Committee as one of the nation’s leading experts on election law and on voting rights.
His credentials speak for themselves: he graduated from Princeton, Yale Law School, clerked for two judges, including in the same district court for which he has now been nominated.
But it has been his experience at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and at the ACLU—where he currently serves as the Director of the Voting Rights Project—where Mr. Ho has set himself apart as one of the best lawyers in America.
He argued two cases before the United States Supreme Court: Trump v. New York, challenging the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from the population used to apportion the census in the House of Representatives; and the Department of Commerce v. New York, successfully challenging the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. That’s a case we’ve all heard about and many of us exalted in and it was only because of Dale Ho’s great work, I think, that we succeeded. He did an amazing job.
He also served as the lead counsel in Fish v. Kobach, successfully challenging a Kansas law requiring people to show a birth certificate or passport when registering to vote.
And as those who have worked with Mr. Ho over the years will attest, it’s not just his experience, but his excellence as a legal thinker that makes Mr. Ho stand out.
He is regarded by his colleagues as one of the finest lawyers in the country, whose work on voting rights is “historic in nature.”
One judge who presided over a case Mr. Ho argued described him as one of the most compelling litigators who has ever been before him.
And if confirmed, I have no doubt Mr. Ho will make an excellent federal judge.
My colleagues: our courts desperately need more people like Dale Ho. Across the country, we are witnessing the greatest assault on voting rights that we have seen since Jim Crow. As voting rights come under assault across the country, it is only fitting that we elevate one of country’s top voting rights experts to safeguard our democracy and preserve our fundamental right as U.S. Citizens.
Finally, if confirmed, Mr. Ho would also add to the range of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives that I believe the courts desperately need.
I am proud that the Senate is not only increasing the demographic diversity on the bench—more women, more people of color, and more individuals from immigrant families— but also its professional diversity as well: voting rights lawyers, civil rights lawyers, public defenders, and more.
This is how we strengthen the public’s trust in the judiciary. The country isn’t all corporate lawyers and prosecutors. It has many other people in the legal profession. And now we are beginning to see them on the bench in much greater numbers. Mr. Ho’s confirmation would go a long way to helping achieve that goal.
So I am proud to support Dale Ho’s nomination today, and I thank the members of this committee for letting me speak in his favor.