Judge James Ho on “The Importance of a Diverse Federal Judiciary”
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing, titled “The Importance of a Diverse Federal Judiciary.” Several judges were invited to speak. I’d like to flag the testimony of Judge James Ho of the Fifth Circuit. He articulated a perspective on this issue that is seldom heard. And you can watch Judge Ho deliver the remarks, starting at 34:30:
My remarks today are akin to what judges call “concurring in the judgment.” We agree on certain core principles, but I’d like to offer my own reasoning.
Equality of opportunity is fundamental to who we are, and to who we aspire to be, as a nation.1 To my mind, that means two things: It means we must do everything we can to ensure that everyone truly has the opportunity to succeed. And it means we must never bend the rules to favor anyone. Dr. King had it right: Choose people based on who they are—not what they look like.
Let me begin by explaining how I began. I came to America from Taiwan at a very young age. Most kids grow up learning English from their parents. I grew up learning English from a bunch of puppets, from a place called Sesame Street. My classmates brought a kids’ lunch box to school. I brought a bento box to school. My food seemed normal to me. But it smelled funny to my classmates—or so they would tell me. And I remember racial slurs and jokes on the playground and on the football field.
But I also learned that, if you work hard and prove yourself, you can find your place in America.
Equality of opportunity is not something to be passive about—it’s something we should be passionate about. We must make sure that everyone has the o
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