North Carolina ‘Redistricting Legal Battle’ Coming Down To Vote Of Judge Supported By Eric Holder

This year’s congressional redistricting battle in North Carolina is likely to come down to a judge’s vote who received substantial financial backing from Obama Attorney General Eric Holder’s Democratic redistricting network. North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls received $200,000 from Holder’s organization.

The state supreme court has seven members and has already rejected congressional maps drawn by the state legislature, which Republicans control. The legislature submitted a revised map last week, which is also expected to be rejected by the court. A judicial defeat of the legislature’s map proposals would be a significant victory for Holder, who led the formation of several political organizations in 2017 to fight for congressional districts favorable to Democratic candidates.

Republicans in North Carolina argue that Holder has a conflict of interest in the pending legal case regarding the proposed maps. His National Redistricting Foundation brought the lawsuit against Republicans last November. The group financially supported Earls for the state supreme court in 2018, and Holder personally endorsed her and campaigned for her.

Republican State Sen. Amy Galey said Democrats “have bought a supreme court justice” to get the legal result they desire. She added that Holder “paid six figures” to get the judge he wanted to decide the case. Galey also said that Earls should have voluntarily removed herself from the case because of her financial conflict. Earls has refused to recuse herself from the case.

A three-judge panel of the North Carolina Supreme Court is expected to rule this week on the latest map proposed by the legislature. The case could then proceed to the full court for resolution. The court has four Democrats and three Republican members.

Holder’s group indicated in tax filings that its primary purpose is to “favorably position Democrats” in state redistricting nationwide through 2022. The group’s PAC made a maximum direct contribution to Earls of $5,200 and channeled $200,000 to her North Carolina Democratic Party campaign.

Holder’s organization also works with a dark money organization funded by Swiss Billionaire Hansjörg Wyss. Holder’s network has also contributed heavily to other judicial campaigns. It spent $165,000 for ads for Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge Rebecca Dallet in 2018 and another $350,000 on behalf of Lisa Neubauer’s losing campaign for the Wisconsin Supreme Court in 2019.