Can California Voters Recoup Excessive Pay, Benefits and Pensions from Current Public Employees?

John Eastman
Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University School of Law, specializing in constitutional law

California is broke.  Every year we spend about $20 billion more than we take in, despite a constitutional requirement of balanced budgets.  Our elected officials have tried every trick in the books to make it appear that they have not been acting unconstitutionally.  They’ve “borrowed” from local governments and schools with phony promises to repay […]

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An Open Letter to District Attorneys Jan Scully and Ed Jagels

John Eastman
Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University School of Law, specializing in constitutional law

In response to Monday’s piece, "The Evidence is Clear: Steve Cooley is Right Choice for AG," by Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully and Kern County District Attorney
Ed Jagels.

Dear Jan and Ed,

It is unfortunate that you let your good names be used by Steve Cooley’s campaign hacks to distort my record in the article published over your names on the Fox and Hounds website this morning.  Jan-we’ve worked together on the Masters in Law program for prosecutors that I established at Chapman with the collaboration of the California District Attorneys Association, and you know that the breadth of my relevant experience is much broader than the article attributed to you conveys. 

Ed, your own brother is supporting my candidacy after hearing about the significant constitutional appellate experience I will bring to the office of Attorney General, including involvement in over 50 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States-experience that no other candidate in the race, Democrat or Republican, has.

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The Senate Must Demand a Commitment to the Rule of Law from President Obama’s Next Supreme Court Nominee

John Eastman
Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University School of Law, specializing in constitutional law

Justice Stevens announced his retirement last week.  Now the sixty-four thousand dollar
question: Who will President Obama appoint to replace him?  Some might believe that the answer to
this question is not important because everyone knows that the President will
just replace a liberal with a liberal, but they would be wrong.  The key question is not what the new
justice’s policy orientation is; rather, the question of most concern to me,
and that should be of most concern to us all, is whether the new justice will
be dedicated to the rule of law, or will add fuel to a disturbing trend in the
judiciary of placing policy ahead of objective decision-making.  The choice is crucial because I believe
that the commitment to follow the law as interpreted by our judiciary will be
jeopardized if Americans come to believe that judicial decisions are nothing
more than lawmaking based on the justice’s policy preferences, behind a phony
mask of legal interpretation.

From his actions thus far, I fear that President Obama will
make the wrong choice.  In his
State of the Union Address last January, the President criticized the Supreme
Court’s decision in Citizens United,
where the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment guarantee of free
speech-"Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of
speech"-prohibits Congress from silencing corporations during elections.  Although I agree with the Supreme
Court’s reasoning in that case, I would not have been alarmed had the President
merely disagreed with the Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment.  I have certainly criticized my share of
Supreme Court opinions.  But what
alarms me is that the President never mentioned the First Amendment-or the
Constitution for that matter.

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