U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) was appointed California’s attorney general yesterday, setting him up to lead the state’s looming court battles with Donald Trump over immigration and other issues, reports The Guardian. A 24-year veteran of Congress, Becerra will replace Kamala Harris, who won a Senate seat last month. Becerra, 58, earned a law degree from Stanford University and worked in the civil division of the attorney general’s office before winning election to the House of Representatives. He rose to become the highest ranking Latino member. His appointment makes him the state’s first Latino attorney general.
California’s state leaders, including Governor Jerry Brown, have promised to resist attempts by a Trump administration to alter state policies on immigration, climate change, and organized labor. Eddie Kurtz of the Courage Campaign, a progressive organizing group, hailed Becerra’s appointment, saying, “California can – and should – be the tip of the spear for state-based resistance to Trump and the Republican party’s inhumane vision for our country.” Becerra said, “As a former deputy attorney general, I relished the chance to be our state’s chief law enforcement officer to protect consumers, advance criminal justice reform, and, of course, keep our families safe.” Mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco are among those that have promised to try to protect migrants from Trump’s encroachment into local policies. With Becerra as attorney general, liberal California could play a similar role under a Trump administration as the one performed by conservative Texas during the last eight years of Obama’s administration. Texas aggressively led 46 lawsuits against the administration.