FEC Nominees and Redistricting Politics

Via Election Law.

In this Weekly Standard article, Edward Blum of the American Enterprise Institute criticizes Barak Obama’s criticism of Bush FEC nominee Hans von Spakovsky. Redistricting is in the mix:

None of Obama’s criticisms are new–all are simply reiterations of the same old issues battled by the left: voter identification cards, purging voter rolls of felons, and redistricting efforts that might benefit Republicans.

As Blum explains recent history:

THROUGHOUT THE 1990s, the Justice Department’s voting rights section was mostly staffed with movement liberals who often failed to enforce the law and instead did the bidding of liberal-leaning interest groups. Things were so out of hand that a three-judge federal court called them on the carpet in a 1994 redistricting lawsuit writing, “Succinctly put, the considerable influence of ACLU advocacy on the voting rights decisions of the United States Attorney General is an embarrassment.”
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Following the 2000 election, these liberal staffers found that they were no longer permitted to run the voting rights section as an arm of the ALCU. One of the new employees blocking their way was von Spakovsky.

On the other side of the aisle, Steve Benen of the Carpetbagger Report disagrees:

Tom DeLay’s re-redistricting scheme that violated the Voting Rights Act? Von Spakovsky approved it. Georgia’s re-redistricting scheme to disenfranchise black voters? Von Spakovsky approved that, too.

More criticism from the left side of the equation is provided at Matt Zeitlin’s blog and in a recent Slate article by Dahlia Lithwick.

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