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Former AG Holder targets Texas Supreme Court seats after Wisconsin flip

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(The Center Square) – A group run by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in the Obama administration is targeting Texas Supreme Court seats in the 2024 election after taking credit for flipping the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

As part of a Democratic Party redistricting initiative, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), chaired by Holder, announced it is targeting state-level and down-ballot races in 11 states, including Texas.

“We’ve selected an initial round of electoral priorities, including state-level offices that provide a critical firewall against Republican gerrymandering,” the NDRC says on its website. “This marks the first round of elections that could affect the outcome of the 2031 redistricting cycle and, with NDRC and affiliates already in place, there’s an opportunity for a much longer runway than before to make an impact.”

The group is investing in “critical” races it says could impact the 2031 redistricting process, including three Texas Supreme Court races where incumbent Republicans are running for reelection. The Texas Supreme Court is the highest court in the state that rules on civil cases. Every general election, three seats are on the ballot.

This year, Republican incumbent justices Jimmy Blacklock, John Devine and Jane Bland are being challenged by Democrats DaSean Jones, Christine Weems, and Bonnie Lee Goldstein, respectively.

“State Supreme Courts have the power to review and, if necessary, overturn redistricting plans that are unfair or unconstitutional,” NDRC says, adding that it helped flip the majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Its funds and efforts to support Democrat Janet Protasiewicz helped her win her 2023 Wisconsin Supreme Court race, NDRC argues. As a result, Democrats gained a majority on the court and then ruled in favor of a Democratic redistricting case.

By contrast, multiple lawsuits were filed over the Texas Legislature’s 2021 redistricting law and subsequent maps that were drawn. The lawsuits never made it to the Texas Supreme Court because a district court dismissed them all.

Holder said Republicans were creating “undemocratic” redistricting maps because they are “dependent upon voter suppression to maintain power, including through partisan and racial gerrymandering.” As a result, the NDRC was dedicating a significant amount of time and resources “to reject this anti-democracy agenda at the ballot box.”

According to the Texas Ethics Commission, the NDRC appears to have $286,000 cash on hand with the majority of its spending in the second half of 2023 appearing to go into its National Redistricting Action Fund.

In addition to the Texas Supreme Court, Holder’s group is also targeting the state supreme courts of Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Ohio.

It’s also targeting state legislative seats in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, the governor’s race in New Hampshire, and an Ohio redistricting reform ballot initiative.

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