Biden judicial nominee Dale Ho appeared to compare voter ID laws to 'chemotherapy'

White House press secretary Jen Psaki holds a briefing

President Biden’s nominee to be a federal district judge for Southern New York, Dale Ho, once appeared to compare voter identification requirements to “chemotherapy.” 

Ho, the head of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) voting rights project, made the comment while speaking on voter ID requirements during a 2015 event in Wisconsin.

“We always have to weigh the costs against the methods, so let me talk about for a second about what you asked — that question about does this enhance the integrity of our elections, right? Obviously, we all believe that election integrity is important, right?” Ho said.

Obviously, all of us are against voter fraud, right?” he continued. “The question that I think we have to ask ourselves is whether or not the mechanism that we’re using to try to prevent this problem is appropriate to the task. I’m against cancer, but I don’t think everyone in this room should get chemotherapy.”

A White House official told Fox News in a Friday email that when “voter fraud occurs, it is horrible.”

“But even though it has been proven to be more rare in America than being struck by lightning, voter fraud is often used as a pretext for undermining constitutional rights,” the official said.

The official also pointed to statistics on lightning strikes and a Washington Post article on the rarity of voter fraud cases.

Ho’s nomination has seen support from left-leaning groups. The liberal group Demand Justice includes Ho on its shortlist of potential Supreme Court nominees created to influence Biden’s judicial nominations.

Demand Justice, an advocacy nonprofit that hides its funders, is led by former Hillary Clinton campaign staffer Brian Fallon. The group works to discredit Republican judicial picks while backing Democratic nominees.

It has also been the primary left-wing judicial group pushing to pack the Supreme Court.

Carrie Severino, the president of the Judicial Crisis Network, told Fox News in a Friday statement that left-wing “dark money groups spent hundreds of millions of dollars to help elect Joe Biden and Senate Democrats.”

“Now they want payback in the form of federal judges like Dale Ho,” Severino continued. “He comes straight from their very ranks and is a sure bet to help deliver the radical policies from the bench that the groups cant obtain otherwise.” 

A Monmouth Poll published this summer shows widespread national interest in voter ID laws, with eight out of 10 people surveyed — including 62% of Democrats — in favor of the measures.

Ho previously faced scrutiny during a Senate Judiciary Committee, when Texas Senator Ted Cruz brought up that Ho has previously described himself “as ‘a wild-eyed leftist.’”

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. 

Fox News’ Joe Schoffstall contributed reporting.

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