ACLU Comment on Dale Ho’s Confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

June 14, 2023 3:00 pm

Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States

WASHINGTON — Today the U.S. Senate confirmed Dale Ho, the director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

“The ACLU celebrates Dale Ho’s confirmation to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. This momentous achievement marks the next chapter in what has already been an extraordinary career dedicated to advancing civil rights and defending democracy,” said Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Ho becomes only the second ACLU lawyer to go directly onto the federal bench as an Article III judge. The first was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was first appointed as a federal judge in 1980 by President Carter after founding and leading the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project. Ginsburg was subsequently appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States by President Clinton in 1993.

A hallmark of Ho’s legacy throughout his tenure at the ACLU has been his exceptional advocacy before the United States Supreme Court. This has proved instrumental in landmark cases, notably in the successful challenge against the federal government’s attempt to include a citizenship question in the 2020 census.

“Dale’s leadership of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project during the pivotal 2020 election further exemplified his prowess as a once-in-a-generation lawyer,” Romero continued. “Dale’s relentless pursuit of justice, impartiality, and fairness benefits all Americans, transcends political affiliations, and exemplifies his steadfast dedication to upholding the rights of every citizen; we congratulate Dale on this remarkable accomplishment.

“There is no doubt that his intellect, integrity, and unwavering commitment to justice will continue to make a profound impact on our nation’s justice system, furthering the cause of civil liberties for generations to come.”

During his career, Ho has advanced the voting rights of individuals and groups regardless of political affiliation or party identity. In a 2020 Texas lawsuit, Ho represented a Republican voter to successfully prevent the disenfranchisement of voters who cast their ballots at drive-through polling stations – making the point that access to voting is fundamentally a nonpartisan issue. In 2018, Ho also filed a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Republican voters in Maryland whose districts were unfairly gerrymandered by the Democratically controlled state legislature.

“President Biden made a promise to appoint federal judges who reflect the full diversity of the American people — both in background and in professional experience. With the confirmation of judges like Dale Ho, President Biden makes good on his promise that careers in public service and in organizations like the ACLU are valued when selecting federal judges,” Romero added.

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

Learn More About the Issues in This Press Release