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Cruz hammered Dale Ho, Biden’s pick to sit on the bench for New York’s Southern District, during his Wednesday Senate confirmation hearing.
The Texas Republican said the president has “made a pattern of nominating extremists, partisans and radicals” for administrative and judicial positions and that he believes Ho’s “record reflects that same pattern of finding someone who has been an extreme partisan” and “a radical.”
“I would note at the outset, that that’s not just my characterization,” Cruz added. “You yourself have described yourself as ‘a wild-eyed Leftist.’ Further, as someone ‘accused sometimes of seeing discrimination everywhere you look.’ Is that right?”
Ho responded that he believed the “keyword” in Cruz’s questioning was “accused,” to which Cruz delved into the judicial nominee’s characterization as a “wild-eyed sort of Leftist.”
“Well, again, Senator Cruz, I think I was characterizing how others have caricatured myself,” Ho responded.
Cruz pointed out that Ho had “tweeted attacks” at multiple members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and that “far from being intemperate statements when you were a teenager, most of these tweets occurred last year.”
“So in the last 12 months, you have engaged — or the last about 18 months — you have engaged in partisan attacks on multiple members of this committee,” Cruz said before touching on a 2017 tweet from Ho.
“In these dark times, I’ve been fortunate to find tremendous sense of purpose in my work as a civil rights lawyer. But as a colleague of mine asked me over lunch recently, Dale, do you do this because you want to help people or because you hate conservatives?’” Cruz said, quoting Ho. “What he was getting at is that anger can in fact, be a tremendous source of power. For me, righteous indignation can provide a sense of moral clarity and motivate the long hours needed to get the work done. But it’s only a short term burst. It’s not sustaining in the long run.”
The senator asked Ho how his previous comments would assure a conservative in his courtroom of his impartiality as a judge.
Ho said his comment was from a “church” conversation.
“I was relaying a joke that someone else had told, the point of which was that that kind of temporary sugar rush from being angry at someone — while it can feel powerful in a moment — it’s not the kind of thing that is sustaining for a human being, in the long run, that at the end of the day, if you want to do good work in the world, it has to come from a different place, a place of love for your fellow person,” Ho said.
“Well, that’s not what you said. What you said is you describe hatred and righteous indignation directed at conservatives, and I would note that that’s a pattern that also continues,” Cruz responded.