California lawmakers are dead serious about fighting Donald Trump and the GOP’s agenda, and now they’re bringing in the ultimate secret weapon: Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
The New York Times reports:
‘Girding for four years of potential battles with President-elect Donald J. Trump, Democratic leaders of the California Legislature announced Wednesday that they had hired Eric H. Holder Jr., who was attorney general under President Obama, to represent them in any legal fights against the new Republican White House.’
Eric Holder, who served as President Barack Obama’s attorney general from 2009-2015, declared in his statement:
‘I am honored that the Legislature chose Covington to serve as its legal adviser as it considers how to respond to potential changes in federal law that could impact California’s residents and policy priorities. I am confident that our expertise across a wide array of federal legal and regulatory issues will be a great resource to the Legislature.’
This doesn’t come a moment too soon. Despite all the GOP’s blathering about “states’ rights,” they only care about that when it comes to denying welfare to their constituents, assaulting voters’ rights, allowing “Christians” to punish LGBT people and women, and making it easier for mass shooters to stockpile assault weapons.
California’s Democratic state Senate Leader Kevin de León added:
‘Having the former attorney general of the United States brings us a lot of firepower in order to prepare to safeguard the values of the people of California. This means we are very, very serious.’
States like California, whose voters’ deeply-held values oppose those of the Republican Party, may soon need to defend some of their key laws and policies. Their legal pot, policies on climate change and the environment, support for gay marriage (despite their short-lived Proposition 8 that snuck through in 2008), and sanctuary cities that protect undocumented immigrants will not go over well with the Trump administration. The various California cities that have raised their minimum wage may also run into trouble, given that various GOP-run states have already barred their cities from doing likewise.
That’s why the state of California is likely to go on the offense instead of waiting for soon-to-be President Donald Trump to make the first move. As we wrote back in December, Attorneys General in blue states across the U.S. are preparing to sue the bejesus out of the Trump administration and bog it down in a mire of lawsuits if it tries to mess with them. And guess where they learned that nasty little trick from? The Republicans.
‘…the Republican attorneys general who have held office for the last eight years have shown exactly how easy it can be to block the president and hinder his plans via lawsuits. The Obama administration has been sued dozens of times by attorneys general in states like Texas, Virginia, and Florida over the Affordable Care Act and environmental and immigration policies.’
Other states with A.G.s who are bound and determined to hold the Trump administration in check include Massachusetts and Vermont.
As for California, Kevin de León told the New York Times state Democrats turned to Eric Holder when they saw who Donald Trump plans on appointing to his cabinet.
‘It was very clear that it [Trump’s talk during the election] wasn’t just campaign rhetoric. He was surrounding himself with people who are a very clear and present danger to the economic prosperity of California.’
In addition, de León and state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon backed Gov. Jerry Brown’s choice of Rep. Xavier Becerra for state attorney general. Hopefully, Donald Trump won’t complain about getting sued by a Hispanic from California the way he did about that “Mexican judge” Gonzalo Curio. Becerra’s predecessor Kamala D. Harris is moving on to the U.S. Senate.
Although the likes of Eric Holder will cost the state of California a pretty penny — plus they’ve already got plenty of lawyers on staff — they believe he’s well worth the cost. For starters, he brings his stature, plus some very specific litigation and political skills, as well as key connections to the table. As state Sen. Kevin de León pointed out, “the cost will be very minimal compared to the billions of dollars at stake if California doesn’t adequately make its case.”
Featured image: Paul Morigi via Getty Images.