BCK FILE--California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has become one of President Trump’s most formidable legal opponents since Trump took office and he does not appear to be slowing down.
On the heels of Trump’s Rose Garden Federal Emergency pronouncement, Becerra told Martha Raddatz ABC News This Week that he’d be “definitely and imminently” filing what would be the 46th suit the state has filed against the Trump Administration.
“We’re confident there are at least 8 billion ways that we can prove harm. And once we are all clear, all the different states are clear, what pots of money that taxpayers sent to D.C. he’s going to raid, which Congress dedicated to different types of services; whether it’s emergency response services or whether it’s fires or mudslides in California or maybe tornadoes and floods in other parts of the country or whether it’s our military men and women and their families who live on military installations that might – that might have money taken away from them, or whether it’s money taken away from drug interdiction efforts in places like California, a number of states, and certainly Americans, will be harmed. And we’re all going to be prepared.”
Governor Gavin Newsom and the AG aren’t about to let the president get away with bypassing Congress to spend almost $8 billion to construct the border wall that has become the centerpiece of his campaign and his presidency.
The state’s 45 lawsuits against the Trump Administration have cost the state millions. However, lost Federal funds that could result from the administration’s policies are far greater. “I don’t want to be a sparring partner with President Trump. We want to be a working partner, but he makes it all but impossible when he plays these games and manufactures a crisis and creates the conditions where we have no other choice but to sue the administration,” Newsom stated.
As of 2016, California is by far the most populous state, with slightly more than 39 million people. That’s one and a half times greater than the second most populous state, Texas. In the 2016 election, 61.7% of California’s popular vote went to Hillary Clinton. The president didn’t even bother to visit the Golden State till he had been in office for 417 days. As recently as early January, he has again threatened to withhold FEMA funds for last year’s devastation caused by wildfires in southern and northern California. Trump has made no pretense for his disdain for California and California leaders have continuously pushed back against his policies, ranging from immigration to healthcare and environmental policy.
The SCOTUS has agreed to hear California’s challenge to the Trump Administration 2020 Census citizenship question, which Becerra argues could discourage people from participating in the Census and pull federal revenue from the state. Last month, the Court ruled that California could continue its DACA protections.
On all fronts, California seems likely to continue to confront the Trump’s policies and Trump is likely to continue his assault on the state. Becerra commented at the press conference about the upcoming Federal Emergency suit, “If I were a baseball player, our batting average would be phenomenal. It’d be out of this world. I’d be a free agent, making some good money.”
“Hall of Fame status,” Newsom added.
(Beth Cone Kramer is a professional writer living in the Los Angeles area. She covers Resistance Watch and other major issues for CityWatch.)