by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The Supreme Court’s recent decision to stop judges from interfering with partisan political gerrymanders is already looking prescient, as no less than Eric Holder informs us. The former Attorney General under Barack Obama is now pledging to persuade liberal state judges to overrule elected politicians with partisan judicial gerrymanders.
“My organization, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, will continue to bring racial gerrymandering claims in the federal courts and partisan gerrymandering cases in the state courts,” Mr. Holder wrote on July 4 in the Washington Post. “An affiliate of the NDRC is supporting a state-based partisan gerrymandering case in North Carolina that seeks to strike down the maps for both chambers of the General Assembly.”
Mr. Holder’s op-ed is best understood as a fund-raising letter. And note that Mr. Holder didn’t mention Maryland, where Democrats gerrymandered their 7-1 congressional-seat majority that the Supreme Court also chose not to toss out. His outfit is suing North Carolina, where Republicans gerrymandered an 8-3 majority in congressional seats (two seats previously held by Republicans are vacant).
Mr. Holder claims the High Court has damaged “democracy,” but the Court merely left redistricting questions to the voters and elected representatives. That’s called democracy. Mr. Holder wants judges, most of whom aren’t elected, to overrule representatives elected by voters. His model is the 5-2 ruling by Pennsylvania’s liberal Supreme Court in 2018 that the Keystone State’s gerrymander violated state law. The judges substituted their own map that helped Democrats gain three seats in Congress last year.