Demand Justice launches ad campaign backing Biden nominee who drew GOP pushback

Dale Ho
Associated Press

Progressive group Demand Justice on Monday launched a six-figure ad campaign in support of President Biden’s nominee for a district court opening in New York who has come under attack from Republicans over his past rhetoric, according to a release seen first by The Hill.

The organization, which focuses on court reform, released the ad in support of Dale Ho, Biden’s pick to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ho faced pushback from multiple Republicans during his confirmation hearing last week over tweets he sent during the Trump administration.

The ad features Ho’s own words in which he describes his commitment to equal justice, saying he has “represented people who have been registered as members of both political parties, because I believe that’s how our system works.”

The ad will run on television in Washington, D.C., and will be featured digitally on Instagram and Facebook.

“This ad campaign is an investment in making sure that Americans who care about protecting voting rights know President Biden and Leader Schumer have given Senate Democrats the opportunity to confirm a champion for democracy to the federal bench,” Demand Justice chief counsel Christopher Kang said in a statement. 

Ho is the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project. During the Trump administration, he argued in court against efforts to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, as well as against efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants when determining representatives for each state.

During his confirmation hearing last week, multiple Republican senators expressed reservations about his temperament to serve on the federal bench, citing past tweets and comments during the Trump administration.

“I very much regret the tone that I’ve taken on social media from time to time, particularly if it’s given anyone the impression that I wouldn’t be impartial,” Ho said during the hearing, a sentiment he echoed whenever his past tweets came up.

Republicans have pointed to multiple tweets Ho sent during the Trump presidency in which he criticized GOP lawmakers, including Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), all of whom serve on the Judiciary Committee.

Multiple senators also brought up a tweet in which Ho appeared to refer to himself as a “wild-eyed sort of leftist.” Ho explained that he was “referring to a caricature of the way other people may have described me, not how I would describe myself.”

Lee brought up a tweet in which Ho suggested Republicans would rely on a Supreme Court majority to maintain power if the “Electoral College, Senate malapportionment and extreme gerrymandering” were not enough.

While Ho said he was referencing news reports in 2020 of states potentially appointing their own presidential electors, Lee suggested the tweet was damaging enough that Ho should not be confirmed, arguing it showed “open contempt for the Constitution.”

Democrats on the Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly backed Ho’s nomination during the hearing. Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) argued Ho’s passion should not be mistaken for anger, and he noted multiple Trump-era judicial nominees also had done past advocacy work.

Tags ACLU Dale Ho Demand Justice Dick Durbin District Court Joe Biden Marsha Blackburn Mike Lee New York Tom Cotton

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