John Eastman is a dangerous man going through a dangerous time. This is an attorney who was told by a Central California Federal District Court Judge that he likely committed a crime with Trump and their conspiracy to bring “alternate electors” for Pence to consider. He also heard from a White House Counsel – per a release by Select Committee Vice-Chair Liz Cheney – that he best hire the “best f**king criminal attorney”, he can find. And now, the New York Times is reporting on an email that Eastman sent on December 24, 2020, which includes the fact that Eastman had “heard” that there was a heated fight going on within the SCOTUS over hearing cases coming from Wisconsin. From the New York Times:
A lawyer advising President Donald J. Trump claimed in an email after Election Day 2020 to have insight into a “heated fight” among the Supreme Court justices over whether to hear arguments about the president’s efforts to overturn his defeat at the polls, two people briefed on the email said.
The lawyer, John Eastman, made the statement in a Dec. 24, 2020, exchange with a pro-Trump lawyer and Trump campaign officials over whether to file legal papers that they hoped might prompt four justices to agree to hear an election case from Wisconsin.
One wants to demand that Eastman answer whether he really “heard” such a thing and, if he did, from whom did he hear it? Because if a Justice (or a family member) is telling Trump campaign attorneys about disputes on the SCOTUS and how to possibly use those disputes toward a strategic advantage, that’s a huge problem. This just doesn’t happen with respect to the United States Supreme Court. It likely doesn’t happen in your local county courthouse. Those people generally take their duties very seriously. The Times quotes Eastman as saying:
“So the odds are not based on the legal merits but an assessment of the justices’ spines, and I understand that there is a heated fight underway,” Mr. Eastman wrote, according to the people briefed on the contents of the email. Referring to the process by which at least four justices are needed to take up a case, he added, “For those willing to do their duty, we should help them by giving them a Wisconsin cert petition to add into the mix.”
We don’t know how much of this is puffed-up language. After all, this is the guy who came up with the plan, and he would be the one to try to make it sound as important and powerful, perhaps successful. But note the language. The odds are “not based on legal merits.” He says right in the email that they have no legal leg to stand upon. It is a question as to whether the Justices’ spines are strong enough to look the other way (despite the legal merits) and rule in a way that helps Trump. He then speaks of Justices “willing to do their duty…” and that Eastman and company should pour on as much help (Petitions to the court) as possible.
This is breathtaking. The only duty a SCOTUS Justice has is to their conscience and the law. “Balls and Strikes,” as John Roberts once said. Remarkably, John Roberts might be the one most dedicated to calling balls and strikes right now (though with conservative eyeglasses). Eastman’s statement implies that they could get five SCOTUS votes without Roberts if all the Justices “did their duty.”
Now one is forced to wonder; IF Eastman is telling the truth, IF there was (and is) a big leak in the SCOTUS that goes beyond the abortion case, then one must ask whether Eastman had a certain “thing” in mind when he said that Justices had to “do their duty”? Did the Trump appointees get their appointment with conditions? Or does Trump just assume they’ll rule for him? It is very hard to believe that a man like Gorsuch or even Amy Coney-Barrett would accept a position based upon conditional loyalty to Trump. Yes, they’re strongly conservative but they both seem to take pride in their professionalism. The likelihood is that Eastman was waaayyyy overstating things. Perhaps a certain Justice’s wife was also way overstating things. But Chief Justice Roberts might want to add another investigation based on this story.
Sure, there are heated fights in the Court all the time. But they don’t leak to the White House, and they don’t hit the New York Times.
Jason Miciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, while also studying scientific philosophy, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.