“Free speech is sacred, and tenured academics like Eastman have the privilege of speaking their mind without fear of repercussion. But Eastman abused that freedom.”
Chapman University Law Professor John Eastman attended the pro-Trump rally in Washington, DC last week, and even appeared on stage with Rudy Giuliani.
Eastman was not part of the group that stormed the Capitol, but his employer is now being pressured to fire him.
CBS News in Los Angeles reports:
Chapman University Faces Pressure To Fire Professor John Eastman Who Spoke At Pro-Trump Rally Before Capitol Breach
Chapman University is facing pressure to fire a professor who spoke at the pro-President Donald Trump rally in Washington, D.C. just hours before violent rioters stormed the Capitol building.
Controversial Chapman University law professor John Eastman appeared on stage with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani at a “Stop the Steal” rally on Jan. 6, where they urged his supporters to head to the Capitol.
In response, over 150 Chapman faculty members signed onto a letter calling on the university to fire Eastman.
“Eastman spouted lies about ‘secret folders’ to fire up an angry crowd and stood approvingly next to Rudy Giuliani as he called for ‘trial by combat,’” the letter read. “These conspiratorial claims of a stolen election were the basis of the insurrection.”
More than 140 members of the faculty at Chapman University signed a letter sent to the Los Angeles Times demanding the firing of Eastman. Via Yahoo News:
Letters to the Editor: Chapman University faculty: John Eastman doesn’t belong on our campus
To the editor: Last month, 159 Chapman University faculty members signed a statement of outrage that law professor John Eastman was using his university credentials in a spurious lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court. At the time, we did not call for his ouster.
But his actions Wednesday that helped incite a riot against the U.S. government put matters into a different realm. They should disqualify him from the privilege of teaching law to Chapman students and strip him of the honor of an endowed chair.
Eastman spouted lies about “secret folders” to fire up an angry crowd and stood approvingly next to Rudy Giuliani as he called for “trial by combat.” These conspiratorial claims of a stolen election were the basis of the insurrection.
Free speech is sacred, and tenured academics like Eastman have the privilege of speaking their mind without fear of repercussion. But Eastman abused that freedom. Consider the 1969 Supreme Court decision in Brandenburg vs. Ohio (1969), which provides broad protection for speech except that “directed to producing or inciting imminent lawless action.”
On this basis, we call on Chapman’s faculty senate, president, provost and law school dean to promptly take action against Eastman for his role in the events of Jan. 6.
Any failure to act by the university would hurt the careers of all faculty, alumni and staff at Chapman. Our research could be associated with extremism thanks to Eastman’s actions.
Funny. No one in academia seems concerned about being associated with the extremism of Black Lives Matter or Antifa.
Over the weekend, Chapman University President Daniele Struppa released a statement explaining why he cannot fire Eastman:
President Struppa Issues an Additional Statement Regarding John Eastman
On Friday, I issued a statement regarding the unrest in Washington, D.C. and the role a member of the Chapman faculty, John Eastman, played in the events of the week.
This statement prompted an understandably emotional response by students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni.
The responses I have received indicate to me that I have failed to make clear the reason for what many have called ‘inaction’ or ‘cowardice,’ or even ‘racism.’ I will try to explain my position in more detail.
Just a few months ago, when the impeachment of President Trump was the center of our attention, we all repeated an important mantra: “Not even the President is above the law.’ For most of us, this is a very important statement because it says that we all are indeed equal under the law, even the most powerful person in the country. Even the President must respect the law.
I now find myself asked by many to violate exactly that statement. I am not the Emperor of Chapman University, nor I am the Supreme Leader of Chapman University. I am the President of the university, and as such, I am bound by laws and processes that are clearly spelled out in our Faculty Manual. The Faculty Manual, despite its common name, is actually a contractually binding document that faculty, administration, and Trustees have agreed upon. This document contains the rules that determine how faculty are hired, and how they are disciplined, up to and including termination. The documents spell out cases under which such actions can be taken, and what process must be followed. The process includes a prominent role for the Faculty Personnel Committee and affords the faculty under discipline a process, and the right to grieve the decision in multiple settings.
The Manual allows for the termination of faculty who are found guilty of a felony, however, that is not the case today. The Manual allows for the termination of faculty who are disbarred, however, that is not the case today. The Manual does not allow me to decide on my own that any faculty is a criminal or that they should be disbarred and therefore fired, which is what I am being asked to do.
American taxpayers should not be expected to fund higher education as long as half of America would not be welcome on a college campus.
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