Republican senators took turns grilling President Biden’s nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York at a Senate hearing on Wednesday. Dale Ho, who headed the ACLU’s partisan Voting Rights Project, came under fire for his radical views, including a number of incendiary statements he made on social media.
“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 early in the hearing.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) made it a point that Ho be called to account for his self-described “wild-eyed leftist” views. Ho dodged answering whether or not this was an accurate self-assessment.
Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) gave a barnburner of a performance, asking Ho if he would withdraw his nomination if found to have called the Republican Party an “anti-democratic virus.”
Dale Ho was reminded that he was under oath, but nonetheless said that he didn’t “believe” he had made the statement. Senator Kennedy asked him if he would withdraw his nomination if it was proven that he had used those words to describe the Republican Party.
“Did you say, quote, ‘Republicanism is anti-democratic virus’?” Sen. Kennedy asked.
“No, Senator, I don’t believe I’ve used those words,” Ho replied.
“Okay, you’re under oath now,” Kennedy pointed out.
“Yes, Senator, I – I don’t believe I’ve used those words,” Ho repeated. “I do remember saying last year that ‘there was a… loss of confidence in our elections that has spread kind of like a virus’,” he continued.
“Right, well, that’s a long way from calling the Republican Party an ‘anti-democratic virus’,” Kennedy remarked.
“Yes, it’s very different, and I don’t believe I used those words,” Ho said again.
“Right, right,” the senator responded. “If you did use those words, will you pull down your nomination?”
“Senator, I don’t believe I’ve used those words,” Ho said a fourth time.
“But if you did,” Kennedy refrained. “Will you withdraw?”
“I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would use those words,” he replied.
But there is a scenario in which Ho actually did use those words: An interview with the New York Times.
“There is an anti-democratic virus that has spread in mainstream Republicanism, among mainstream Republican elected officials. And that loss of faith in the machinery of democracy is a much bigger problem than any individual lawsuit.”
Dale Ho now knows what he must do.
Five other Biden nominees appeared before the Senate on Tuesday, along with Ho. The Republicans are fresh off a victory in the scuttling of Biden’s radical nominee for the Treasury, Saule Omarova. The Biden nominee refused to turn over her Marxist thesis to the committee and had espoused communist views, such as eliminating private banking accounts.