Ethics Hero (“Socking It To Georgetown University” Div.) #2: Federal Judge James Ho

As a graduate and former employee of Georgetown Law Center (and, though I say it myself, a living legend there), I have found the recent disgraceful episode where conservative scholar Illya Shapiro was suspended by the Dean at GULC for a tweet expressing the view that President Biden’s announced plan to make race and gender his primary criteria for filling Justice Breyer’s soon to be vacant seat on the Supreme Court particularly discouraging. (My JD diploma was already face to the wall for previous embarrassments, however.) I have been particularly disgusted by the failure of the GULC faculty to speak up in support of Shapiro in public, though other academics across the country have done so.

Thus it was with particular pleasure that I learned how Judge James Ho of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, slated to speak at GULC yesterday on “Fair Weather Originalism: Judges, Umpires, and the Fear of Being Booed,” saw the obvious relevance of his topic to Shapiro’s ordeal and shocked his hosts by giving a different lecture than the one announced. He said in part,

I hope you won’t mind that I’ve decided to address a different topic today instead. I’m going to spend my time today talking about Ilya Shapiro…

Freedom of speech…is the foundation of our entire adversarial system of justice. You must understand your opponent’s views in order to fully understand, and thus powerfully defend, your own views…Ilya has said that he should have chosen different words. That ought to be enough. I have no doubt — zero doubt — that Ilya did not intend anywhere near the worst interpretation that has been applied to his remarks…

Equality of opportunity …is fundamental to who we are, and to who we aspire to be, as a nation. [It defines] why America truly is the greatest nation on earth, [and why its founding principles] are the principles that brought my own family to these shores, and that I have held all my life…. [They] are worth defending — no matter how loud the booing from the crowd… Though racism is a scourge that America has not yet fully extinguished. the first step in fighting racial discrimination is to stop practicing it…Make no mistake: If there is any racial discrimination in statements like [Shapiro’s], it’s not coming from the speaker, it’s coming from the policy that the speaker is criticizing….

Let me be clear: I stand with Ilya on the paramount importance of color-blindness. And that same principle should apply whether we’re talking about getting into college, getting your first job, or receiving an appointment to the highest court in the land….That’s all Ilya is trying to say. That’s all he has ever tried to say…

Then Judge Ho ended his unexpected remarks with a ringing, “If Ilya Shapiro is deserving of cancellation, then you should go ahead and cancel me too.”

Or as the Duke so eloquently put it in “McClintock!”…



4 thoughts on “Ethics Hero (“Socking It To Georgetown University” Div.) #2: Federal Judge James Ho

  1. Judge Ho should be tops on the list of SCOTUS nominations for the next Republican President.

    He will be bitterly opposed for this speech, but that opposition will highlight it.

    Also, as an Asian-American, I wonder if he suffered rejection to various schools because of his race – only this time in the service of “diversity” and “inclusion.”

  2. It’s so depressing that such a clear common sense statement needs to be lauded as unusual and worthy of praise…or that it even had to be said. But that’s because the current trend of “journalism by omission” of all with which the left disagrees means Judge Ho’s words will not get the positive coverage they would normally be given in a world where ethical journalism and academia used to reign.

    • Given these two stories, I wonder whether the left will begin rethinking open borders if ingrates like the Hos and Cotescus are going to, dare I say it, kinda, sorta, you know, speak truth to power? *
      *I hate to go all Ann Althouse, but isn’t it interesting that that phrase (“speaking truth to power”) vanishes whenever the Dems ARE the power?

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