James C. Ho

James C. Ho

Judge, United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

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

As an appellate litigator for over a decade, including three years as the Solicitor General of Texas, Judge Ho presented 50 oral arguments in federal and state courts nationwide.  He won numerous appeals, including three merits cases at the U.S. Supreme Court.  He was routinely ranked among the nation’s leading lawyers by Benchmark, Chambers, Law360, The Legal 500, and The National Law Journal, among other publications.  His work has been cited favorably by courts at every level of both the federal and state judiciaries.  He won a Best Brief Award from the National Association of Attorneys General for every year that he served as solicitor general, and he is the only state solicitor general in history to be invited by the U.S. Supreme Court to express the views of a state.

Judge Ho has 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.

His record of public service also includes appointments as vice chair of the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee in Texas and co-chair of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Judiciary Committee, and as a member of the U.S. Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the Northern District of Texas, the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and the Continuity of Government Commission.

In addition, Judge Ho has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law, where he taught seminars on U.S. Supreme Court Litigation and Religious Liberty.  He has authored numerous articles in respected law reviews nationwide, including an annual feature on exemplary judicial writing for The Green Bag Almanac & Reader.  He previously served as senior editor of The Green Bag and as co-editor of Pub. L. Misc.

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.  Before law school, he was a legislative aide to California State Senator Quentin Kopp.  He and his wife Allyson live in Dallas, Texas, with their twin daughter and son.



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