The Road To Totalitarianism: California Shows, Once Again, Which Party Is Driving

Late yesterday, the State Bar of California  announced that Orange County attorney John Eastman (above), a former law school dean, law professor, and a long-time respected member of the bar, is the target of a disciplinary investigation into whether he violated laws while advising President Trump on options available to him in the wake of his election defeat in 2020. Eastman wrote two legal memos that advised Vice President Mike Pence that he could declare that the results in several states were disputed and therefore their electoral votes would go uncounted.  The State Bar’s chief trial counsel, George Cardona, announced  that Eastman has been the center of an investigation since September, saying in part,  “A number of individuals and entities have brought to the State Bar’s attention press reports, court filings, and other public documents detailing Mr. Eastman’s conduct.”

That’s odd: bar investigations of ethics complaints are supposed to be confidential, so complaints can’t be used as political weapons or to impugn lawyers’ reputations. Why is Eastman being treated this way? Oh, I’m sure there is some fine print exception somewhere, but the real reason is obvious from the LA Times story headline yesterday: Breaking News: Trump-connected lawyer John Eastman under investigation.” Eastman is “Trump-connected,” so it’s guilt by association, a Joe McCarthy specialty and a favorite tool of despots for centuries.  Beware, any lawyers out there prepared to give counsel, representation and legal assistance to He Whom Progressives Hate and Fear! There will be consequences.

Attorney Randall Miller represents Eastman in the matter, said Eastman expects the investigation will exonerate him:

“Dr. Eastman, a nationally recognized constitutional attorney and scholar, represented former President Trump in several election challenges. As was his duty as an attorney, Dr. Eastman zealously represented his client, comprehensively exploring legal and constitutional means to advance his client’s interests.”

But the legal establishment doesn’t believe that Donald Trump’s rights and interests should be represented. On the legal ethics listserv I belong to, a very prominent lawyer and legal ethicist’s reaction to this news was “Yay!”

Utter hypocrisy and corruption, but sadly typical of the legal profession since November, 2016. The law school Eastman once led already applied the non-legal and unethical principle of guilt by association. In early January 2021, more than 100 Chapman faculty and others affiliated with the university signed a letter calling on the school to take action against Eastman for his “role” in the events of January 6, when a mob of idiotic Trump supporters swarmed over the U.S. Capitol. (Eastman had no role in the riot whatsoever.) Within the week, Chapman University President Daniele Struppa announced that Eastman was no longer affiliated with the university.

The usual suspects, like former Harvard law professor Larry Tribe and Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Berkeley’s leftist law school dean, are calling Eastman’s representation of Trump an “assault on democracy” when the precise opposite is true: what they are advocating is an assault on democracy, and also their own profession. It is the ultimate hypocrisy.

Ever since 2011, when the law firm representing the House of Representatives in the Supreme Court case involving DOMA capitulated to threats from other clients (and gay marriage activists) and dropped the representation, the legal profession’s vital commitment to giving unpopular causes and clients the best legal representation available has been collapsing under the weight of non-ethical considerations, like money, business, and the approval of progressive peers,) I have been warning my legal ethics seminars about the threat this development poses to Sixth Amendment rights and equal protection under the law. To this, the self-righteous retort from woke lawyers and professors is “But some clients are just bad and wrong, and don’t deserve to have effective representation!” These unethical professionals, of course, deem themselves qualified to decide who should have access to the law.

This is a dangerous development, and virtually unreported by the news media, in part because they share the same slanted concept of “fairness” and a similarly warped perception of “democracy.”

20 thoughts on “The Road To Totalitarianism: California Shows, Once Again, Which Party Is Driving

  1. “But some clients are just bad and wrong, and don’t deserve to have effective representation!”

    That would be funny, IF the same folks had gone after the thankfully-now-dead Lynn Stewart, who not only represented the blind sheik who masterminded the first WTC bombing, but acted as his conduit to his minions in the outside world by abusing the attorney-client privilege. It’s perfectly all right to be a terrorist’s cockholster and say tyranny is fine to preserve a people’s revolution. But to represent a president in an election that looks fishy? The horror!!

  2. This is thought crime stuff that’s going around a lot these days. It’s very weird. Trump is evidently guilty of some sort of high crime or misdemeanor for having dared to think the election was fishy and asking lawyers if there was anything he could do about it. Of course, Al Gore and HRC were never viewed in this light. They were protecting the legitimacy of elections with David Bois. I heard this thought crime stuff from a much smarter than I am college classmate who’s a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School. I asked him if he’d ever had a client ask him whether there was any way to push the edges of a particular law or regulation and he went ballistic. Something about Trump being a narcissistic asshole (the friend’s words, with which I have no problem) has driven this friend around the bend. He’s terrified Trump will be re-elected (and the Dems will go berserk for another four plus years–my words) and is willing to do anything to disqualify Trump. I asked him why the Dems don’t defeat Trump by governing better than he did or would. No response. And this is a guy who thought Trump’s administration was pretty darned successful and good for the country! If lawyers don’t give a rat’s ass about the legal process, where are we?

    • Trump is a brain-liquification trigger, the kind of someone or something that causes people’s brains to liquify and trickle out their ears and them to start screaming, cursing, and threatening. Sometimes I think the only approach is just to respond in kind. If someone starts to rant, maybe the thing to do is just shout louder, or actually take action. Otherwise, you’re just letting yourself be bullied.

      • One of my favorite law school professors (land use planning), then young and a really gifted thinker and teacher, went to work for the Trump administration from his tenured position as a Con Law professor at a west coast, conservative and religious, law school. Which I mentioned to a friend who was one of the very top students in our class, law review editor, Fifth Circuit law clerk and longtime partner in a now international megafirm, dismissed the professor as “an idiot” for having had the temerity to work for the Trump administration. Bizarre.

        A now former friend, a Stanford undergrad but less expensive law school grad, knowing full well I obtained my J.D. from Notre Dame, referred to Amy Coney Barrett, gratuitously and unprovoked but with great glee while looking down his nose at both her and me, as “Amy Coney Island.” Just weird.

        • That is the stupidest and most juvenile insult I have heard directed at a SCOTUS justice my entire life. It’s elementary school age. Did you tell him as much?

          • We don’t speak any more. We’d been friends for nearly forty years and even worked together. I was stunned into silence.

  3. Just another tool in the Progsheviks’ (who are not totalitarian at all, how dare you!) tool chest. It’s right there beside denying their opponents access to communication, access to financial services, access to markets, etc. There will be more.

  4. It is dangerous, and frightening. I fear the very same thing is about to happen in the medical profession, where the Hippocratic Oath is sure to fall under scrutiny and equivocation.

    One by one, the ethical foundations of our critical establishments are subliming away under the intense heat of political passion.

  5. To this, the self-righteous retort from woke lawyers and professors is “But some clients are just bad and wrong, and don’t deserve to have effective representation!”

    The horrible nature of this quote (were it not obvious) could be deduced by simply re-framing the sentiment within the context of a doctor-patient relationship.



    • “The horrible nature of this quote (were it not obvious) could be deduced by simply re-framing the sentiment within the context of a doctor-patient relationship.”
      The proposal that the unvaccinated should be denied medical service doesn’t seem to bother a good many of them..

  6. To suggest a client is “too bad” for legal representation is to attack the rule of law. It’s one thing to argue that maybe you aren’t the person to represent them, but it’s another thing to argue the person is so bad they become “unrepresentable.” It’s one thing for a lay person to make that claim, but for a lawyer or a law professor, there’s no excuse for it.

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