Politics

California To Fight Against Trump As Texas Did Obama

| by Kathryn Schroeder

California lawmakers may treat President-elect Donald Trump similarly to how Texas responded to President Barack Obama for eight years.

Republican Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general who later became governor of the state, was proud of the way he handled the Obama administration.

“I go into the office, I sue the federal government, and then I go home,” he once said, according to McClatchy DC.

Texas sued the Obama administration nearly 50 times.

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The same type of stance against the Trump administration may occur in California.

“You could see a progressive or liberal attorney general in California saying the same thing -- that ‘I come in every day and I sue the Trump administration,’” Thomas McGarity, a law professor at the University of Texas, said.

Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra, who has been nominated by California’s Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown to be the state’s new attorney general, supports fighting against the Trump administration.

“If you want to take on a forward-leaning state that is prepared to defend its rights and interests, then come at us,” Becerra said.

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Current California Attorney General Kamala Harris is already preparing potential ways in which the state could counter Trump policies.

“We’re already starting an analysis of that because we have a history in California of standing up in the face of federal opposition, standing up for our values and our principles,” she said. “We’ve done that on a number of issues that range from marijuana to same-sex marriage.”

Harris admits that it is unclear what Trump plans to do as president, as compared to what he proposed during his campaign.

Potential issues California may have with the Trump administration are the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, of which 1.3 million state residents are enrolled, anti climate change initiatives, increased deportations and no federal funding for sanctuary cities, which would affect Sacramento, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Sacramento Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg will not allow his city to stop being a sanctuary for illegal immigrants.

“We are going to make it very clear that Sacramento will continue to be a sanctuary city,” he said.

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said his force would not participate in deportations, while California’s public university system has pledged to support its students and will not cooperate with deportations.

Texas and California have another thing in common when it comes to going against the federal government: secession.

In May, Texas secessionists attempted to force a floor vote at the Texas Republican Party convention, but the effort came up two votes shy in a committee, according to The Washington Post.

The CalExit movement, or Yes California Independence Campaign, was established after Trump won the presidential election, calling for a special vote on whether it should secede from the U.S.

The campaign argues that many California values conflict with what the U.S. represents.

“It is about California taking its place in the world, standing as an equal among nations,” the campaign states on its website. "We believe in two fundamental truths: (1) California exerts a positive influence on the rest of the world, and (2) California could do more good as an independent country than it is able to do as a just a U.S. state."

Whether California tries to secede from the U.S. and/or fights back against the Trump administration’s polices, it must consider what Texas learned.

“One lesson for California is that it’s still hard to beat federal agencies,” McGarity said, according to McClatchy DC, adding that it’s difficult for states to be successful when acting alone.

But California has a history of suing the federal government, and winning.

“There’s never been a reluctance by California attorneys general to sue federal agencies,” former California attorney general Bill Lockyer said. “During my years, we regularly litigated clean air and other environmental issues with the federal government.”

The state won cases against the George W. Bush administration regarding renewing oil drilling leases off the state’s coast and harvesting trees from the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

“We’re always ahead of the rest of the pack and we should be prepared to defend that,” Becerra said.

Sources: McClatchy DC, The Washington Post, CalExit/Yes California / Photo credit: Dems.gov

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