The California Legislature hired former Attorney General Eric Holder as it prepares for expected battles with President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Numerous cities in the state are sanctuary cities, and Democrats have been gearing up to battle Trump’s immigration policies that would affect the state’s more than 2.6 million undocumented residents.
“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,” Kevin de Le n, the Democratic leader of the Senate, told The New York Times. “This means we are very, very serious.”
De Le n said he expected California to challenge Washington on issues including the environment, immigration and criminal justice.
“It was very clear that it wasn’t just campaign rhetoric,” de Le n said of Trump’s policy proposals on the campaign trail. “He was surrounding himself with people who are a very clear and present danger to the economic prosperity of California.”
Former Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) was appointed to be the state attorney general, replacing incoming Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). Becerra, now one of the highest-ranking Latino officials in California, will also play a key role in battles with Trump.
Holder served as President Obama’s attorney general from 2009 to 2015, the first African-American in the position. He has since worked as a partner at a law firm in Washington that focuses on representing companies and states in cases against the federal government.
“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,” Holder said in a statement.
“I am confident that our expertise across a wide array of federal legal and regulatory issues will be a great resource to the Legislature.”