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Thursday, July 11, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Pick a state, any state, and sue until it’s blue.

That is the strategy of former President Barack Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder when it comes to redistricting. They’ve spent millions of dollars on their fight to gerrymander Democrats into permanent (or at least long-term) control of the U.S. House of Representatives.


And along the way, they’ve fooled many in the media into believing that they are fighting for “fair maps” while pushing an agenda that puts redistricting into the hands of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats and life-time appointed, activist judges.

Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court — just recently — pulled the federal courts out of the business of picking winners and losers in redistricting cases. A judiciary forced to consider such inherently political questions would become just another partisan branch of government. Americans deserve an impartial, independent judiciary, and that is what they got with the ruling from the nation’s highest court. We won a major battle but this is not the end of our fight.

The battle to protect our country from Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder’s plan to hijack our elections now moves to the states. Democrats will double down on flipping state Supreme Courts and bringing more lawsuits to be heard by friendly judges they helped to elect — just like they have already done in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of activist liberal judges who will enthusiastically toss out constitutionally drawn maps to help elect more Democrats. In recent years, we’ve seen this over and over again. It’s time that Republicans wake up to the reality of the Democrats’ nationwide judicial power grab.

The most glaring example in my mind is what happened in Wisconsin. Democrats spent millions litigating against our policies while simultaneously working to elect radical, left-wing activists to our state Supreme Court that wanted nothing more than to undo all that Republicans had accomplished for Wisconsin over the past eight years. Republicans fought back and stalled their plans, but the long battle to keep Wisconsin heading in the right direction has only just begun.

If Republicans fail to fight back nationally — instead of as we did in Wisconsin — we will find ourselves in a perpetual minority for a generation. That is why I became the national finance chairman for the National Republican Redistricting Trust (NRRT). We must engage in this issue before it is too late.

The GOP must stand up and fight back to stop the Democrats “sue until it’s blue” strategy. If we want to continue to implement our pro-growth agenda, we need to make sure that Republican candidates have the opportunity to make that case to voters across the country.

All Americans who believe that judges should call balls and strikes and not create new rules out of thin air should be concerned by the overreach of the courts. And even though the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court removes the federal court from their strategy, Mr. Holder has spent years working to put in place judges at the state and district level who will help implement the “sue until it’s blue” strategy.

Liberals have been at this for years. In 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt created an organization called the National Committee for an Effective Congress. That group has spent decades gathering, standardizing and producing this data for the left.

Liberal groups then use this data for voter targeting, redistricting and academic research. Often, they make the data available to “scholars” who use it to drive their desired conclusion.

A good example is the argument used against constitutionally drawn maps in Wisconsin (as well as other states). The so-called “scholars” declared that because Wisconsin historically has very close statewide elections, there should be an even number of legislative districts held by Democrats and Republicans. They ignore the reality that Democrats win by huge margins in cities like Madison and Milwaukee but that the partisan landscape of the rest of the state is more evenly spread out. Unfortunately, some judges buy into the partisan angle of the data presented.

Fairly drawn maps are important — not only for state legislative races — but for control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Use of the “sue until it’s blue” strategy in four states had an impact on as many as 14 House seats last year. And that was before the new census was done.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder will continue to raise millions to support efforts to elect more governors, state lawmakers, and state and local judges. Their goal is simple: Control the process, control the courts and then sue until it’s blue.

Republicans need to wake up and stop Democrats from hijacking the process. If we have fairly drawn maps approved by elected officials who are accountable to the voters, we will win.

• Scott Walker was the 45th governor of Wisconsin. You can contact him at swalker@washingtontimes.com or follow him @ScottWalker.


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