U.S. Senate Confirms Voting Rights Lawyer Dale Ho to Federal Bench

WASHINGTON, D.C. On Wednesday, June 14, the U.S. Senate voted 50-49 to confirm Dale Ho to a lifetime appointment as a judge on the District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

President Joe Biden nominated Ho in September 2021 and again in January 2023 after Ho’s nomination stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee during last session’s evenly divided Senate. 

Ho worked on voting and civil rights litigation with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund before serving as the director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project since 2013. “As voting rights come under assault across the country, it is only fitting that we elevate one of the country’s top voting rights experts to sit on the bench, to safeguard our democracy and preserve our most fundamental right as US Citizens,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said at the committee hearing on Ho’s nomination. 

Today’s confirmation marks the 135th Biden-appointed judge confirmed to the federal bench. Biden is outpacing his predecessors and also making crucial steps to diversify the federal judiciary in terms of gender, race and professional backgrounds.

When the Senate confirmed Biden’s 100th judge in February, NBC News noted that “Biden has picked unusually high numbers of public defenders, civil rights lawyers and labor lawyers compared to his predecessors from both parties.” In mid-May, another voting and civil rights litigator, Nancy Abudu, was confirmed to a historic appointment on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.