During President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, many of the policies he promised voters, from immigration to environment to drug policy and civil rights, were at odds with the priorities of a majority of Californian lawmakers, and therefore voters.
Now, half a year into the Trump administration, we are seeing the state fight many of these policies through lawsuits, new laws and other means of protest.
Last week, a commission created by President Trump to investigate voter fraud requested that all 50 states turn in voter roll information. California State Secretary Alex Padilla joined over 40 states in denying that request.
In an interview with ABC10, Padilla expressed concerns over the motivation behind the request and the use of what he called an “invasive data request.
“Look, I think the true agenda of this commission is abundantly clear if you just look at who’s in charge," Padilla said. "It’s a presidential advisory commission. This is a president who despite the evidence and despite the facts somehow believes millions of illegal people voted last November and it’s simply not true.”
He directly challenged Kansas State Secretary Kris Kobach, leading the commission, calling him “one of the national leaders, unfortunately, on issues of voter suppression, anti-immigration, discrimination, racial profiling, their agenda is clear and we’re not going to legitimize it by having California be a part.”
California lawmakers have pushed back on multiple environmental policies, ranging from water safety to fossil fuels.
When the president decided to withdraw from the Paris Accord, Governor Brown joined several of his counterparts across the country in a new coalition that “will convene US states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on Climate change”
While in China discussing California’s commitment to fight global warming, Governor Brown cautioned that, “There are still some in powerful places who are resisting reality, who are resisting the obvious science that we know governs our lives.”
Then, last Wednesday, California sued the Trump Administration for failing to enforce the Clean Air Act, which aims to reduce methane gas emissions.
On education, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sued the Department of Education this week for failing to protect students from deceptive practices and fraud.
After President Trump signed an executive order to withhold federal funds from sanctuary jurisdictions, Becerra and another nine states filed a court brief supporting San Francisco and Santa Clara in their legal challenge to the president’s executive order.
California is also, for the first time ever, including in the state proposed budget, the allocation of millions of dollars to help people fight deportation.
The California Senate has also introduced a bill to prohibit the state from doing business with any companies bidding to build Trump’s border wall.
On guns, last week Governor Brown signed into law an expansion of gun control, which bans gun possession or ownership for people with warrants for their arrest on major crimes.
When President Trump and conservatives in Congress pushed for the de-funding of Planned Parenthood, California reacted by passing a Senate bill allowing the DMV to sell pro-choice license plates and direct the proceeds of those to a health program that helps fund Planned Parenthood, among other women’s health services.
The state has reacted to the harsh stance of the administration on marijuana by way of AB 1578. The law that would prohibit law enforcement at the state and local levels from assisting federal agencies in investigating, detaining, detecting, reporting or arresting someone for marijuana activity that’s legal under state law.