- REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Former President Barack Obama is staging his political re-debut, Politico reported on Tuesday.
“It’s coming. He’s coming,” former attorney general Eric Holder said to a group of reporters at a briefing. “And he’s ready to roll.”
Holder, the first black attorney general, said he was talking with Obama about how to advance the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), an organization advocating for reorganization of congressional and state legislative lines.
Ultimately, the goal for Democrats is to fix what they see as a party disadvantage – congressional districts that are overwhelmingly dominated by one party. The concept is better known as “gerrymandering.”
The NDRC has since called gerrymandering “the biggest rigged system in America.”
As the chair of the NDRC, Holder said that Obama “will be a more visible part of the effort.”
Considering that the Democrats were unable to reclaim either the House or Senate during the 2016 election, the political fight to address gerrymandering will take center stage during midterm elections.
Democrats have also set their sights on challenging Jeff Sessions, President Donald Trump’s attorney general.
Sessions has already begun unraveling some Obama-led voter reforms. On Monday, the Justice Department announced that it would drop a legal challenge against Texas’ strict voter ID laws that required voters to furnish a government-issue photo identification to cast a ballot. The Obama-era Justice Department managed to block Texas’ law in 2013, asserting that it could spur discrimination against minority voters who lacked the required identification.
Holder said there will be a difficult legal battle ahead, calling Sessions’ latest actions in Texas “disheartening” and adding that Democrats are gearing up to file lawsuits nationwide to challenge districting maps and get the party in a stronger position at the state level.
A big part of that effort will be counteracting efforts to limit voting rights, Holder said. “It would be good to have the Justice Department on our side … This is really a battle for our democracy.”
“The notion that people are denied their ability to cast a meaningful vote … is inconsistent with who we say we are, inconsistent with what we say our democracy is about.”