Since leaving the Obama administration in 2015, former Attorney General Eric Holder has gone on to make a living off of heading the so-called National Democratic Redistricting Committee, an organization with the stated purpose of ending partisan gerrymandering.
Holder has filed lawsuits throughout the country tying up statehouse redistricting efforts claiming particular segments of the electorate had been disenfranchised by alleged gerrymandering.
According to Holder, gerrymandering also plays a role in gun violence in America.
During an appearance on MSNBC’s “The 11th Hour” on Wednesday, Holder told host Stephanie Ruhle that “structural problems” in our representative government were enabling the “gun lobby.”
“[W]e also have to do the structural things,” he said. “You know, gerrymandering is something that is a problem here, where people can side with the gun lobby, with the special interests against the will of their constituents and not suffer any electoral consequence because they are in these safe seats. So, it’s a combination of, I think, a lack of will, structural problems, and we have to get to a better place.”
Holder argued if there were no gerrymandered lines, more Democrats could get elected and pass laws with background check requirements.
“The lines were drawn — gerrymandered lines were drawn in such a way that it is almost impossible for the other party to win,” Holder said. “And therefore, if you are in a safe Republican seat, the only thing that you are concerned about is a primary as opposed to a general election. And the way you forestall a primary challenger is to go further and further to the right and take more extreme positions so that you can’t get outflanked from your right side.”
“If you’re in that safe Republican seat and the Democratic challenger comes on and says, you know, I want to fight for gun safety, you’re — you’re safe,” he continued. “And so, you can just cater to your base, cater to that extreme part of your base, and not have to deal with or do that with your constituents by significantly large numbers want to have happened. I mean, the polls are like 80, 90% of the people in this country saying that we should have background checks before anybody has the ability to buy a weapon. You don’t see that in law.”
Holder attacked the Texas legislature and said if not for its “gerrymandered power,” there might be those in charge that could “stop these kinds of mass shootings from occurring.”
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