“The Feds Have Helped Some Gerrymandering to Thrive”

A letter in the WSJ claims that Eric Holder helped to lead the charge in Bethune-Hill, after approving Virginia districts in 2011.

Consider me skeptical.  The letter appears to conflate preclearance approval (which focused on two particular legal standards; every preclearance letter expressly said that approval for those purposes should not be construed as validation more generally) with the Shaw causes of action that ultimately prevailed.  Those are not the same.

And Bethune-Hill?  Holder was the AG when the case was first brought by private plaintiffs in 2014; Lynch was the AG when the DOJ in 2016 submitted an amicus brief not lodged in support of either party (disclosure: I worked on the brief); and Whitaker was the AG when the DOJ submitted an amicus brief in 2019 on behalf of neither party.  I don’t see Holder’s group in the case at all.  I get that Holder’s a generic fill-in-the-blank boogeyman, but …

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