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John C. Eastman (born April 21, 1960) is a conservative American law professor and constitutional law scholar. He is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service, and former Dean[1] at Chapman University School of Law in Orange, California. He is also the Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, a public interest law firm affiliated with the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy.

John C. Eastman
Personal details
Born (1960-04-21) April 21, 1960 (age 59)
Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Elizabeth C'de Baca Eastman
ProfessionLaw professor and constitutional law scholar


Eastman earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the law review. He also has a Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate School. He earned his B.A. in Politics and Economics from the University of Dallas. Prior to law school, he was Director of Congressional & Public Affairs at the United States Commission on Civil Rights during the Reagan administration.[2] He was also the unsuccessful 1990 Republican nominee for United States Congress in the 34th District of California.[3]

Early careerEdit

After law school, he clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Justice Clarence Thomas at the Supreme Court of the United States, then worked as an attorney for the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis, specializing in civil and constitutional litigation. He later joined Chapman to teach constitutional law. He has also appeared on the nationally-syndicated Hugh Hewitt show commenting on law.[4]

Politics and lawEdit

On February 1, 2010, Eastman resigned as Dean of the Chapman University School of Law to pursue the Republican nomination for California Attorney General.[5] He finished second in the primary to Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who lost to Democrat Kamala Harris in the 2010 general election.

Eastman served as a Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of South Dakota, representing it in a denied petition to the Supreme Court of the United States in a constitutional challenge to federal spending.[6] He has also represented the North Carolina legislature and the State of Arizona in unsuccessfully petitioning the Supreme Court in cases involving same-sex marriage,[7] abortion,[8] and immigration.[9]

Board affiliationsEdit

Eastman is Chairman of the Federalist Society's Federalism & Separation of Powers practice group.[10] He is Chairman of the Board of the National Organization for Marriage,[11] a director of the Public Interest Legal Foundation,[12] a member of the Board of Advisors of St. Monica's Academy,[13] a member of the Advisory Board of the St. Thomas More Law Society of Orange County,[14] and a Member of the Board[15] and on the faculty at the Claremont Institute.[16]

Congressional testimonyEdit

He has testified before Congress, including:

  • June 4, 2013 - Testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee about alleged political abuses by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during the Obama administration.
  • December 10, 2014 - Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee arguing that President Barack Obama's unilateral suspension of immigration laws for more than five million illegal immigrants was unconstitutional.[17]
  • April 29, 2015 - Testimony before the House Judiciary immigration subcommittee about birthright citizenship.
  • July 22, 2015 - Testimony at a U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing chaired by Senator Ted Cruz addressing Supreme Court activism.


  1. ^ "Faculty Profile".
  2. ^ "John C. Eastman -".
  3. ^ "California's 34th Congressional District - Ballotpedia".
  4. ^ "Dean John Eastman On The Powers Of The Senate Vis-à-vis The SCOTUS Vacancy « The Hugh Hewitt Show". The Hugh Hewitt Show. 2016-02-15. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  5. ^ "Eastman resigns as Dean of the Chapman University School of Law"; accessed April 27, 2014. Archived July 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Search - Supreme Court of the United States".
  7. ^ "Search - Supreme Court of the United States".
  8. ^ "Search - Supreme Court of the United States".
  9. ^ "Search - Supreme Court of the United States".
  10. ^ "StackPath". Archived from the original on January 29, 2013.
  11. ^ "National Organization for Marriage".
  12. ^ "Board of Directors - Public Interest Legal Foundation".
  13. ^ "Directors and Advisors - St. Monica Academy".
  14. ^ "AD VERITATEM" (PDF). December 2013. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  15. ^ "Claremont Institute - Board of Directors".
  16. ^ "Curriculum and Faculty Committee - The Claremont Institute".
  17. ^ ""Prosecutorial Discretion"Does Not Allow the President to "Change the Law"" (PDF). Hearing on “Keeping Families Together: The President’s Executive Action On Immigration And The Need To Pass Comprehensive Reform”. December 10, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2019.

External linksEdit

  • Biography, Claremont Institute; accessed April 27, 2014.
  • Biodata, Chapman University School of Law website; accessed April 27, 2014.
  •; accessed April 27, 2014.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Parham Williams
3rd Dean of the Chapman University School of Law
Succeeded by
Tom Campbell