The California Legislature has returned to the state Capitol with a new hire. On their first day of session Wednesday, Democratic leaders announced they have retained former Obama Administration Attorney General Eric Holder to challenge the incoming Trump Administration.
Senate leader Kevin de León says Holder will advise the state on measures it can pass and possible legal action should the president-elect attempt to repeal environmental regulations and Obamacare, and deport immigrants.
"A lot could be lost if in fact Donald J. Trump and his administration follow through on the threats that they have made during the course of his campaign," says de León. "It’s hard to predict what will happen in the near future, but in the event that there needs to be a legal fight to protect the policies that have made California."
Since the election, De León and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon have repeatedly promised to fight federal laws from the new administration if they influence California policies.
Republican Assembly leader Chad Mayes says that oppositional stance is a distraction.
"We should be talking about the real work that the people of California want us to be working on, things like making sure we have roads we can drive on without potholes or we’ve got an education system that isn’t failing our children," Mayes says.
The Legislature will pay Holder’s law firm, Covington and Burling, $75,000 for three months of work. The money comes from the Assembly and Senate’s combined $300 million operating budgets, meaning it doesn’t require a vote.