The pundits, political class and members of the ‘establishment’ assume that the upcoming state hearings for Governor Jerry Brown’s Attorney General appointment will be rubber-stamped by the legislature. They shouldn’t.
Yes, the Governor is a Democrat, his nominee for Attorney General, Congressman Xavier Becerra, is a Democrat, and yes, of course the state legislature maintains a Democratic super majority in the Assembly and the Senate.
Regardless of our shared party affiliations and perhaps our collective progressive ideals is the fact that we, in California, face a cold hard reality that reflects both unprecedented uncertainty, and conceivably, a ferocious, hard-fought legal war with bloodshed stretching from our Golden State to Washington, D.C.
The reason? Donald Trump and his incoming Administration are dead-set on building up legal barriers and walls around all those that we, as a state, have torn down in recent years.
As a consequence, the stakes for California couldn’t be higher. Our state, the sixth largest economy in the world, has long been recognized as a beacon for compassion, progress, inclusivity, innovation and equality, because of the laws that we’ve enacted to help to lift up people and tear down roadblocks.
These very same laws, and our resulting way of life, are on the line in the years ahead.
From the advances we’ve made on immigrants’ rights to tough environmental laws, protections for working families and women’s reproductive healthcare and other rights, to forward-thinking gun safety policies and more — all are within team Trump’s eyesight and primed for the White House’s chopping block.
As a legislative body, our leaders and members have made it crystal clear that we stand ready for war with Donald Trump’s Washington. We have armed ourselves with historic numbers in our legislative army. Our Governor has also declared that he’s prepared for battle as our chief executive.
The gap we must fill in our arsenal isn’t just for our state’s top cop. It’s for a leader with unrivaled grit, someone who is ready for head-first combat, and who will use their legal sword to pierce through and guide our state past the incoming cloud that masks Trump’s walls of discrimination and division.
With so much on the line, this job clearly won’t be easy. It’s not for the faint hearted, and in fact, it’s likely for someone who is prepared for heartburn given the legal carnage that we, as Californians, are willing to spill in battle as we seek to protect our values and what we hold near and dear.
I have spoken with Congressman Becerra and reviewed his record. A son of immigrant parents, a former Deputy California Attorney General, member of the state legislature and a longtime, effective member of Congress, he’s led a remarkable and impressive career.
I have no doubt that the Congressman understands the extraordinary gravity and importance of this position of Attorney General, particularly in light of the times and given circumstances in Washington.
He’s got the experience, intellect and aptitude that under a more normal state of affairs would bring less scrutiny over such an appointment. That said, we are where we are. Donald Trump is President and he has threatened to eviscerate much of what we cherish in California.
With so much anxiety among Californians stemming from the threat of Trump, this historic nomination, and this record-making Special Committee on the Office of the Attorney General, present a unique opportunity for this Nominee to make his case for how he will protect our state’s interests and be the legal leader that we need.
It’s up to Congressman Becerra to show us that he’s not only battle-tested, but ready for war.