James C. Ho

Hon. James C. Ho

Judge, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

James C. Ho is a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, appointed on January 4, 2018. Before taking the bench, Judge Ho was a partner and co-chair of the national Appellate and Constitutional Law practice group of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Over the course of a decade as an appellate litigator, Judge Ho presented 50 oral arguments in federal and state courts nationwide. He won three cases at the U.S. Supreme Court (Sause v. Bauer, 138 S. Ct. 2561 (2018); Sossamon v. Texas, 563 U.S. 277 (2011); Thaler v. Haynes, 559 U.S. 43 (2010)), and numerous appeals in federal and state courts across the country. He was routinely ranked among leading litigators nationwide by Benchmark, Chambers USA, Law360, The Legal 500, The National Law Journal, and other publications.

His ten-year career as an appellate litigator included a three-year stint as the Solicitor General of Texas. As the state’s chief appellate and Supreme Court litigator, he won three Supreme Court Best Brief Awards from the National Association of Attorneys General. He is the only state solicitor general to be invited by the U.S. Supreme Court to express the views of a state.

Judge Ho previously served in all three branches of the federal government. On the Senate Judiciary Committee, he served as chief counsel of the Subcommittees on the Constitution and Immigration under Senator John Cornyn. At the Justice Department, he served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and an attorney-advisor at the Office of Legal Counsel. He clerked for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Ho graduated from Stanford University with honors and a B.A. in Public Policy in 1995, and the University of Chicago Law School with high honors in 1999. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law, senior editor of The Green Bag, co-editor of Pub. L. Misc., vice chair of the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee in Texas, and co-chair of the Judiciary Committee of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Between college and law school, he was a legislative aide to California State Senator Quentin Kopp (I-San Francisco).

Taiwanese by birth and Texan by marriage, Judge Ho and his wife Allyson, a partner and co-chair of the national Appellate and Constitutional Law practice group of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, have a twin daughter and son. They live in Dallas, Texas.