Eric Holder’s Foundation Wants 3 New Minority Congressional Districts

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Written by Ann Brown

 

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder doesn’t think the current electoral maps in three states are fair to Black voters and a group he backs wants one new majority-Black congressional district in Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana by the 2020 general elections. To make this possibly happen Holder’s National Redistricting Foundation (NRF), part of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (a political action committee which Holder chairs) has filed federal lawsuits in each state.

According to the lawsuit, “the new majority-minority districts are needed because each state’s current electoral maps violate the federal Voting Rights Act by depriving Black voters of the ability to elect representatives of their choice,” McClatchy reported.

In the filings, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, Louisiana Secretary of State R. Kyle Ardoin, and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill are named as defendants.

Holder said he feels the current map in these states disenfranchises Black voters. “You can’t ignore the progress we’ve made over the past half century, but there’s no doubt that in too many places, African Americans are still not afforded an equal opportunity to participate in our electoral process,” Holder.

So what’s the problem?

“In Alabama, NRF alleges that Republicans carefully distributed Black voters between three congressional districts and packed African-American voters into Congressional District 7 now held by Rep. Terri Sewell (D), which is already a majority-minority district. The suit contends that lawmakers should have created a new majority-minority district,” The Hill reported.

Over in Georgia, lawmakers apparently did not draw an additional majority-minority congressional district where Black voters geographically dominated. What happened was the voters were spread out over three other districts to dilute Black voters’ voting power.

“In Louisiana, the lawsuit alleges state lawmakers packed black voters into the state’s sole majority-minority district and divided black voters between several congressional districts, instead of creating another majority-minority district, The Hill reported.

“The current maps are clear violations of the Voting Rights Act that deny African Americans the equal opportunity to elect their candidates of choice,” Holder said in a statement.

The lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of Black residents in the states, claims that each of these states violated the Voting Rights Act in redistricting in 2011 by stopping Black voters from being able to elect representatives of their choosing to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Holder said a change is needed. He said: “The creation of additional districts in which African-Americans have the opportunity to elect their preferred candidates in each of these states will be an important step toward making the voting power of African-Americans more equal and moving us closer to the ideals of our representative democracy.”

Eric Holder
Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, speaks at a news conference to discuss the proposed so-called California “sanctuary state bill”, Monday, June 19, 2017, in Los Angeles. Holder said Monday he believes cutting funding from so-called sanctuary cities would be unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)