California ‘Lawyers Up’ for Potential Legal Disputes with Trump’s Policies

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Chelsea Viola
National Beat Reporter

On Jan. 4, California’s legislative leaders announced the hiring of former Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. as an outside legal counsel to advise legislators on potential legal disputes with the incoming Trump administration.

This move is heavily motivated by the Democratic Californian leadership, given that President-elect Donald Trump lost the state by over 4 million of the 14 million votes in November.

“With the upcoming change in administrations, we expect that there will be extraordinary challenges for California in the uncertain times ahead,” according to a joint statement by California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León and California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

“This is a critical moment in the history of our nation. We have an obligation to defend the people who elected us and the policies and diversity that make California an example of what truly makes our nation great,” said the statement.

Bringing outside legal counsel “sends a loud and clear message to all Californians that we have their backs and to Washington that we’re not backing down,” de León said in an interview.

Californian legislature will collaborate with Governor Jerry Brown and the incoming Attorney General on climate change, health care, civil rights, and immigration policies.

Holder and his team from the Covington & Burling law firm will assist in their “efforts to resist any attempts to roll back the progress California has made.”

In December, Brown assured the protection of the state’s fight on climate change, vowing to thwart any threat of interference on climate science.

“We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers, and we’re ready to fight,” said Brown at the American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco. “Whatever Washington thinks they are doing, California is the future.”

In a recent interview, Trump has stated he is “open minded” on climate change but “nobody really knows” whether it is a real phenomena.

Other Democratic leaders from across the nation are joining forces to challenge Trump’s policies.

In an interview with CBS 60 Minutes, Trump said that he would deport two to three million illegal immigrants.

“We are getting them out of our country or we are going to incarcerate,” said Trump.

Mayors of large cities like New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Atlanta, and Minneapolis have reaffirmed their cities’ status as “sanctuary cities” for undocumented immigrants by not assisting in federal deportation efforts in response to Trump’s aspirations to increase deportation and reinforce border control.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stated he was “committed to shielding the city’s estimated half a million undocumented immigrants,” as reported by Gothamist.

“We’re not going to tear families apart, so we will do everything we know how to do to resist that,” said de Blasio.

Rendon summarized the call to action in an impassioned speech last December. “It is up to us to pass policies that would firewall Californians and what we believe — from the cynical short-sighted … and reactionary agenda that is rising in the wake of the election,” he said.

Chelsea Viola is a second year Political Science & History of Public Policy double major, and is the 2016-2017 National Beat reporter for The Bottom Line. She is proudly from the Bay Area (Go Warriors!). In her spare time, Chelsea enjoys admiring dogs from a far, watching tv shows that induce existential crises (like Twilight Zone & Black Mirror and all of Food Network), and attending concerts.

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