Federal Judge Fights Back Against Cancel Culture By Cancel Culturing Yale Law School
File:James Ho (Judge) (cropped).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Can we just cut the shit here? Cancel culture is no more real than Bigfoot. It is a rainbow unicorn invented by the wingers to paint themselves as victims when people call them out for being bigoted assholes. It used to be acceptable to be a gross, racist pig in public, and now it's not. WAAAAH! BOOHOO!

Why can't I make jokes about trans people? Why can't I say gay people are perverts who shouldn't be allowed to get married? Why can't I say that liberals want to abort babies after they're born? Damn you cancel culture!

In point of fact, you can say any damn fool thing you want. This is America! But you can't make other people listen to you, and you can't stop them from calling you a filthy degenerate. Because, again, this is America.

Conservatives worked themselves into a veritable orgy of self pity because they can't shit on racial and sexual minorities in polite society any more. Then they took a massive snort off their own supply, slapped the label "cancel culture" on their lost privilege to be rude without consequence, and conveniently rebranded themselves the victims. Neat trick, huh?

In a particularly egregious example of this, Fifth Circuit Judge James Ho announced his intention to cease hiring clerks from Yale Law School to strike a blow against the supposed scourge of conservatives being hounded from the very face of the earth.


“Colleges aren’t teaching students how to agree to disagree,” he said, in a keynote address to the Kentucky Chapters Conference of the Federalist Society first reported by National Review. “They’re teaching students how to destroy. And then they’re launching them into the world.”

Judge Ho is a Trump appointee whose pre-bench career highlights included clerking for Justice Clarence Thomas and authoring a memo for the second Bush administration justifying so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques." Since being confirmed to a lifetime appointment at the age of 45, he's regularly invoked rightwing talking points in his opinions, calling abortion a "moral tragedy," inveighing against his colleagues for their "woke Constitution" interpretations, and opining that the way to prevent mass shootings was to increase qualified immunity for police. He also has a nasty habit of misgendering trans parties who appear before the court. In short, he is a garbage person whose garbage writings regularly provoke a torrent of well-deserved criticism.

And boy is he pissed about it!

Cancel culture now plagues a wide variety of institutions. I’ve written judicial opinions noting how cancel culture has infected our educational institutions, the legal profession, corporate America, and public health — and how even the criminal justice system has been weaponized to cancel disfavored political viewpoints. Cancel culture is also deeply embedded in journalism, entertainment, sports, and the arts.

The consequences for America are significant. I would contend that cancel culture is one of the leading reasons why citizens no longer trust a wide variety of once-leading institutions. It turns out that, when elite institutions make clear that people who think like you and me shouldn’t even exist, we return the favor.

Astute observers will note that, while many people think he has no business being a federal judge, literally no one is claiming that Judge Ho "shouldn't even exist." We're not even demanding he be waterboarded! We're saying he's an asshole, which is exactly what we said about Ilya Shapiro, the former Georgetown University Law Center lecturer who faced a firestorm of criticism and demands for his ouster by students at the school after calling then-nominee Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson a "lesser black woman." After GULC failed to fire him, Shapiro quit, effectively cancel culturing himself. But no matter! Judge Ho was still so moved by his plight that he was unable to give his regularly scheduled speech on originalism to the GULC Federalist Society, instead launching into an extempore critique of cancel culture, proclaiming "I stand with Ilya!"

“If Ilya Shapiro is deserving of cancellation, then you should go ahead and cancel me too," he cried. LOL, we wish.

Judge Ho's recent shit fit comes after an appearance in March at the Yale Federalist Society by Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a virulently anti-LGBTQ+ outfit designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Waggoner was shouted down by protestors, who were threatened with arrest by armed guards.

“Yale presents itself as the best, most elite institution of legal education. Yet it’s the worst when it comes to legal cancellation," Ho complained, vowing not to hire any more clerks from the school. “If they want the closed and intolerant environment that Yale embraces today, that’s their call. But I want nothing to do with it.”

Yale Law School graduates made up a full third of Supreme Court clerks between 2017 and 2021. They will be fine if deprived of Judge Ho's mentorship. But it is more than a little ironic that this supposed warrior for the right of every American to make the most maximally offensive statements without facing consequences is cancel culturing Yale Law School because its students stick up for the right of trans kids. You know, the ones James Ho literally says shouldn't exist.

[National Review / Slate]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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