Equal Justice Under Law? Not if You're Conservative

November 13, 2020

How far does the Left want to go to cancel opposing viewpoints? Far enough to deprive citizens of their constitutional right to legal representation, apparently. Recently, a $500,000 negative ad campaign has been launched against law firms that are representing President Trump in his claims of voting irregularities and possible fraud in the various swing states.

Dr. John Eastman, Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University's Fowler School of Law and Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at Claremont Institute, joined "Washington Watch" to discuss the Left's growing intolerance and marginalization of anyone who does not accept the latest, constantly evolving progressive worldview, particularly in the area of legal representation.

"This is not new," Dr. Eastman said. "The Left has been trying to cancel legal representation for positions they disagree with for near[ly] 20 years." He pointed to just a few examples of this disturbing trend: "I remember when I tried to file a brief in support of the Boy Scouts way back in 1999 at a fairly conservative-leaning law firm, I was told 'we're not allowed to do that.' And yet there were hundreds of briefs coming in from major law firms on the other side. The same thing went on in the David Daleiden exposé of Planned Parenthood selling baby parts. No major law firm would allow their lawyers to work on his behalf, so he's got a small little non-profit helping him with scores of lawyers on the other side with some of the most prominent law firms in the country. This is an attempt to deprive people of valid representation."

What's truly alarming about trend is that it strikes at the very heart of the rule of law in our free republic by denying people access to justice. "You cannot have a legal system that succumbs to that kind of extortionist tactic," Dr. Eastman observed. "Because then one side in the fight is not going to get adequate representation, and the results of the litigation are not going to be in pursuit of justice and truth, as we expect the adversarial system to lead to. When you've got 100 lawyers at the top firms with all of their resources against two or three lawyers on the other side with little or no resources, it's just not a fair fight, and yet that's the playing field they're trying to establish."

So how do we push back against this cancel culture that now wants to deny people due process in court? Dr. Eastman suggested that one strategy is to be very selective about the products we buy and the companies we support, because corporations have a huge sway over the legal system due to their financial stake in the top law firms they hire. "If Coca-Cola is pushing this, then we need to go to Pepsi," he said. "We need to use our power in the market if they are going to use their power in the market to counteract it."