- - Thursday, November 14, 2019

While most of the media and the general public are focused on the 2020 presidential election, former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder and his cronies have been quietly working to undermine the last redistricting process. Virginia is the latest example. 

Democrats took control of both chambers in the recent legislative elections in the commonwealth. Most of the media coverage tried to tie it to the president but largely ignored the impact of the courts.  

Interestingly, Democrats brought a lawsuit against the Republican-drawn state House of Delegates districts map but not against the Democrat-drawn state Senate districts map. The two sets of maps were passed as part of a bipartisan legislative redistricting deal in 2011, when Republicans controlled the House and Democrats controlled the Senate. 


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In another reminder that the left never moves on, Democrats went to court in the middle of the decade to challenge the House of Delegates map but not the state Senate maps. A three-judge federal panel heard the case and two judges appointed by former President Barack Obama amazingly sided with the Democrats. 

An appeal was made, but the U.S. Supreme Court said that the Republican-controlled House of Delegates at the time lacked standing in part because it was only one part of one branch of government. The decision ended up giving Democrats new maps for key parts of Virginia which likely led to a gain of three to four seats. That is about the margin of their majority after last week’s elections.  



Republicans need to wake up!

Democrats have been working on this issue for years. Eric Holder and company have a long-term plan that started several election cycles ago. 

History is on their side. Republicans gained nearly 1,000 state legislative seats during Mr. Obama’s tenure. In 2010, 20 state legislative bodies flipped to Republican control. 

Now, with a Republican in the White House, Democrats have the electoral advantage and they are ready. Starting years ago, Mr. Holder recruited Mr. Obama to his cause — converting the Organizing for America machine into his redistricting efforts.  

Pick a state and sue until its blue. That is their game plan. It worked in Virginia. They did it in Pennsylvania. And they are doing it in North Carolina.

Long-term control of the U.S. House of Representatives is the real objective. Dictating the redistricting process through control of all or parts of the state legislative, executive and judicial branches is the means to reach that goal. 

In Pennsylvania, they successfully focused on electing a Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court. That court forced new maps for legislative and congressional boundaries. 

Mr. Holder and company tried to do something similar in Wisconsin. In 2018, they helped a liberal win a seat for the state Supreme Court. Their goal was to win this spring and again in the spring of 2020, when the court race is on the same date as the Democratic presidential primary. Thankfully, we stopped them or their three-part plan could have led to a takeover of the state Supreme Court.  

With a partisan split between the legislature and governor, the state Supreme Court would have the final say in Wisconsin on the boundaries for state lawmakers as well as for members of Congress. Mr. Holder and his cronies spent heavily in Wisconsin over the past few years. 

While Republicans had a big win in the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year, that just moved the battle to each of the 50 states. In many parts of the country, the state courts are dictating the maps. It is happening in North Carolina right now. 

Republicans need to wake up!

While most people are looking at 2021 for the next redistricting, Mr. Holder and his cronies are still in court trying to relitigate the legislative maps drawn in 2011. They are active from Florida and Texas to Arizona and California. Their work had an impact on 27 House seats that flipped from Republican to Democratic last year.  

Let me repeat that: 27 seats. That is the difference between Nancy Pelosi being the speaker or not. Over the past few years, they have raised and spent $250 million on these efforts. Their stated goal is $400 million.

They don’t give up. They don’t move on. They keep fighting.  

We need to do the same thing. That is why I am working with the National Republican Redistricting Trust (theNRRT.org). We can have the best candidates in the world, but if the districts are gerrymandered by Eric Holder and his cronies in the courts, they cannot win.  

Republicans need to wake up!  

We need to counter their attacks in court. We have to call out their phony commissions. We have to improve our collection and use of data. We have to win against their bogus ballot initiatives. 

In a fair battle, our ideas and candidates win. Let’s give them a chance to do so. 

• Scott Walker was the 45th governor of Wisconsin. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him @ScottWalker.

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