LOS ANGELES, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Democratic lawmakers in the California legislature have retained former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to help in any legal battles with President-elect Donald Trump's administration, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
The move is an indication that lawmakers in the nation's most populous state, where Democrats hold two-thirds majorities in both houses of the legislature, are girding for possible court battles after Trump takes office on Jan. 20.
Last month, leaders of both houses introduced bills to protect undocumented immigrants from anticipated efforts by a Trump administration to increase deportations. In addition, Democratic Governor Jerry Brown has made combating climate change a priority for the state.
RELATED: Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's stepping down
Former US Attorney General Eric Holder
Former US Attorney General Eric Holder
Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder delivers remarks on the second day of the 2016 Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center on July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25.
(Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
Attorney General Eric Holder announces he is leaving the Department of Justice while U.S. President Barack Obama looks on.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrives to talk to the media about the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, and to announce pilot cities for DOJ program to build trust between law enforcement and communities they serve, at the Justice Department in Washington March 12, 2015. Holder said on Thursday the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, was a "heinous assault" that threatens reforms under way in the city.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at the annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Orlando July 16, 2013. Holder told the major civil rights convention that controversial "Stand Your Ground" self-defense laws that have been adopted in 30 states should be reconsidered.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (L) shares a laugh with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder at an event in Chicago, Illinois July 2, 2014.
Eric Holder (L) is sworn-in as US Attorney General by US Vice President Joe Biden (R) as Holder's wife, Sharon (C) holds the Bible during ceremonies on February 3, 2009, at the Justice Department in Washington, DC.
(PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
A packed room watches Holder's speech.
Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama, captures a moment of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as Obama mentions Holder's presence at a town-hall meeting with students and Columbia area youth leaders about the importance of community involvement at Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina March 6, 2015.
Attorney General Eric Holder makes a separated statement on the unrest after the unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, during a major financial fraud announcement press conference August 21, 2014 at the Justice Department in Washington, DC. Holder spoke on the current situation in Ferguson one day after his visit to the town and met with Browns family, saying the investigation of the shooting will be thorough and will be fair, and Department of Justice stands with the people of Ferguson.
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (R) embraces President Barack Obama after the president announced Holder's resignation in the White House State Dining Room in Washington, September 25, 2014.
US Attorney General Eric H. Holder is sworn-in during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill May 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. Holder and other members of the Obama administration are being criticized over reports of the Internal Revenue Services'(IRS) scrutiny of conservative organization's tax exemption requests and the subpoena of two months worth of Associated Press journalists' phone records.
(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a naturalization ceremony at the U.S. Department of Justice May 27, 2013 in Washington, DC. During the event Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas administered the Oath of Citizenship to approximately 70 new U.S. citizens.
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during the second day at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder returns an acknowledgement from President Barack Obama at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner in Washington September 27, 2014.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrives at the 46th NAACP Image Awards in Pasadena, California February 6, 2015.
Eric Holder (L) is sworn in as U.S. Attorney General by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (R) at the Justice Department in Washington February 3, 2009. Holder's wife Sharon (C) holds the Bible during the swearing in.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder attend the National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the Capitol in Washington May 15, 2013.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is trailed by reporters upon his arrival on Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Washington March 6, 2015. Holder had accompanied U.S. President Barack Obama for the day to Columbia, South Carolina.
Attorney General Eric Holder (R) and his wife Sharon Malone attend the unveiling of Holder's official portrait with the artist Simmie Knox (L) at the Dept. of Justice, in Washington, February 27, 2015. Holder, the first African-American attorney general, serving since 2009, will be succeeded by Loretta Lynch, the first African-American woman to hold the position if confirmed by the Senate.
U.S. Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch (C) speaks as U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and retiring Attorney General Eric Holder (L) look on, in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington November 8, 2014.
United States Attorney General Eric Holder (L) participates in a selfie with Ju Hyeon Seo (R) during a ceremony for 70 citizenship candidates at the Justice Department in Washington July 22, 2014. Ju was formerly a South Korean citizen.
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"Having the former attorney general of the United States brings us a lot of firepower in order to prepare to safeguard the values of the people of California," Kevin de León, the Democratic leader of the state Senate, told the Times. "This means we are very, very serious."
A representative from de León's office could not immediately be reached for comment early on Wednesday.
Holder served as attorney general under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2015. He is a partner in the law firm of Covington & Burling, which represents companies and helps them navigate government regulations.
"I am honored that the Legislature chose Covington to serve as its legal adviser as it considers how to respond to potential changes in federal law that could impact California's residents and policy priorities," Holder said in a statement, according to the Times.
California voted decisively for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 presidential election, choosing the former first lady over Trump by 28 percentage points.