Eye on Trump, California Lawyers Up —Big Time

Legislature hires Eric Holder to head legal battles against incoming president
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2017 12:47 PM CST
Eric Holder speaks at the Justice Department in Washington in 2015.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) – California is gearing up to fight Donald Trump's administration—and President Obama's former attorney general will lead the charge. Democratic leaders of the California Legislature announced Wednesday that they've hired Eric Holder, now a partner at law firm Covington & Burling, to head a team of lawyers that will offer counsel in response to potential conflicts between the state and federal government over the next four years, including those relating to climate change, civil rights, the environment, and immigration, reports the Los Angeles Times. Trump is "surrounding himself with people who are a very clear and present danger to the economic prosperity of California," Senate leader Kevin de Leon tells the New York Times. "This means we are very, very serious."

It's an unorthodox move as the state attorney general—Rep. Xavier Becerra is expected to take over the post after Kamala Harris' move to the US Senate—would normally take on such a role. But de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon sought a stronger front "to protect Californians" soon after Trump was elected. "While we don’t yet know the harmful proposals the next administration will put forward, thanks to Donald Trump's campaign, cabinet appointments and Twitter feed, we do have an idea of what we will be dealing with," says Rendon. De Leon adds financial details have not been set, but "the cost will be very minimal compared to the billions of dollars at stake if California doesn't adequately make its case" and will come from the legislature's operating budget. (Read more California stories.)

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