Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more. Hosted by Larry Mantle

California's Holder hire: Will it hurt or help the state's defense against potential Trump policies?

by AirTalk®

148700 full
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a press conference announcing Department of Justice plans to sue North Carolina over Voter ID regulations at the Department of Justice. Kris Connor/Getty Images

The California Legislature is lawyering up in preparation for the next four years under Donald Trump - and the person they’ve hired is a familiar name: Eric H. Holder Jr.

Holder, who served as attorney general under President Obama, is now a big-time Washington lawyer. He's been tapped to represent California in any legal fights against the Trump administration, as the liberal state braces itself against the new administration over a number of issues, including the environment and illegal immigration.

California Senate President Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) says Holder was chosen to serve California’s legal counsel at a time when the state faces extraordinary threats requiring extraordinary action.

“The more legal super fire power that you have, the better,” says de Leon. “Eric Holder and his team at Covington will be working very closely with the attorney general as well as the governor, Jerry Brown, but remember one thing Larry - these are three separate branches, co-equal branches of government, and the more legal power that we have necessary to protect values of Californians, the better.”

But Shawn Steel, California National Committeeman of the Republican National Committee, says it’s bizarre for the legislature to create a separate law firm at this level in Washington, D.C., before there’s even a lawsuit or specific case.

“It’s a huge slap in the face of Xavier Becerra,” says Steel. “It basically says, ‘Xavier, you’re the attorney general, you may be bright and sharp, you have the largest attorney general’s office in the United States, you have a tremendous reputation of a long standing reputation, but you’re not good enough to deal with what may or may not come from the Trump administration, therefore we’re gonna hire our own personal lawyers’…[but] as a lawyer practicing myself, often times the more lawyers you bring to a case, the less gets done, the more muddled it becomes, and then you have factions even among your own side.”

No word yet on how much the state is spending on retaining Holder’s service.

To hear more of this discussion, click the blue playhead above.


Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles),  California Senate President and State Senator representing the state’s 24th District

Shawn Steel, California National Committeeman, Republican National Committee; he tweets @shawnsteel1

blog comments powered by Disqus

Enjoy AirTalk®? Try KPCC’s other programs.

What's popular now on KPCC