Tags: Barack Obama | Voting Rights | eric holder | barack obama | redistricting | gerrymandering | map

Obama, Dems Huddle With Holder on Plan to Stop GOP Gerrymandering

Obama, Dems Huddle With Holder on Plan to Stop GOP Gerrymandering

Former Attorney General Eric Holder (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 January 2017 07:57 PM

Former Attorney General Eric Holder will lead an effort developed by President Barack Obama that would take aim at the nation's map of congressional districts that helped solidify the Republican Party's control in Washington and in many states.

Holder, 65, will head the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, with plans to announce the group's formation on Thursday in a speech to the Center for American Progress in Washington, The New York Times reports.

The former attorney general, who stepped down in 2015, said that battling Republican gerrymandering is a "primary concern" for Obama once he leaves the White House later this month.

"He thinks, and I think, that this is something that threatens our democracy," he told the Times. "We have a system now where the politicians are picking their voters, as opposed to voters making selections about who they want to represent them."

Others expected to be involved in the effort include Vice President Joe Biden and "present and former Cabinet members," Holder said.

The effort comes a week after California's Democratic legislature retained Holder, who frequently clashed with congressional Republicans during a stormy six-year tenure, in any legal battles against President-elect Donald Trump's administration.

Holder said that the move stemmed from longstanding resentment among Washington Democrats at how Republicans stymied President Obama's agenda throughout his tenure.

"The tasks that he had placed before him were made a lot more difficult, progress a lot more difficult, than it needed to be," he told the Times. "That's because of the Congress that he had to deal with, which was a function of the 2010 redistricting effort."

In addition, Republican controls governorships and legislatures in 25 states versus six by Democrats, the Times reports.

Trump's November victory has also intensified interest in redistricting among activists and donors, Holder said.

"I can remember conversations with [Obama] where it was his view that it wouldn't take huge amounts of money to have an impact on state and local races," he told the Times, "but that it would take a substantial amount of effort."

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Former Attorney General Eric Holder will lead an effort developed by President Barack Obama that would take aim at the nation's map of congressional districts that helped solidify the Republican Party's control in Washington and in many states.
eric holder, barack obama, redistricting, gerrymandering, map, voting
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2017-57-11
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 07:57 PM
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