Eastman is a Southern California law professor who has been telling Trump exactly what he’s wanted to hear, that the election was stolen and Pence could help undue it. This fiction lead to him rising through Trump’s “elite legal strike force” so fast that he ended up speaking from the stage pre-insurrection with Rudy on January 6th. Meanwhile, 3,000 miles away, his Chapman University colleagues and students were organizing. They pressed the University President to fire him, but the President forcefully explained why he couldn’t and wouldn’t.
Until yesterday, when he flipped and announced Eastman had agreed to retire. So what happened to cause the sudden and drastic reversal? Conservatives will no doubt say “cancel culture” struck again, but my guess is the University’s legal team and Eastman’s lawyers agreed to craft the “retirement” exit to avoid a lose-lose situation with respect to exorbitant legal fees both sides would incur if they dug in.
So is the case of John Eastman’s retirement, as conservatives will claim, another example of the hypocrisy of progressives who advocate for diversity writ large while simultaneously reducing ideological diversity by pushing Eastman out the door? No, because this isn’t a difference of opinion about the role and size of government, gun control, or social justice, it’s about what a law school does when one of its professors refuses to accept a bipartisan legal consensus—that it was a free and fair election—in the most visible way imaginable. How much harm is done to the law school’s and University’s reputation?
Ultimately, the university had to have worried that many of the mostly liberal recent college graduates applying to law schools were less likely to apply to Chapman because of Eastman’s affiliation with it. They had to have known his flight from reality was going to lead to fewer applications, meaning a weaker and smaller entering class, meaning a loss of revenue during higher education’s great retrenchment.
Undoubtedly, the University paid Eastman a tidy sum to “retire”. A sum they deemed less than the long-term loss of revenue from keeping Eastman on the payroll.
We know it wasn’t really a retirement because Eastman said he will direct the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at Claremont Institute.
Watch the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence retract their offer sooner than later. Hope his fifteen minutes of fame was worth it.