Justice Thomas Recuses as Supreme Court Rejects Eastman’s Appeal of Election-Interference Ruling
By ARI BLAFF
October 2, 2023 3:11 PM3 CommentsListen
Clarence Thomas recused himself Monday as the Supreme Court rejected an appeal from John Eastman, a former legal adviser to Donald Trump, who had asked the Court to reverse a previous ruling which held that his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election potentially constituted a crime.
In March, a California federal judge ruled that Eastman’s advice to then-President Trump advocating overturning the 2020 election results “more likely than not” constituted a crime. Eastman, a Constitutional law professor, controversially advanced the argument that Vice-President Mike Pence could avoid certifying the election results.
Because Eastman’s actions were potentially criminal, the judge ruled that a since-disbanded January 6 House committee had the right to view emails that had been archived by his former employer, Chapman University.
“The illegality of the plan was obvious,” Judge David Carter wrote. “Our nation was founded on the peaceful transition of power, epitomized by George Washington laying down his sword to make way for democratic elections. Ignoring this history, President Trump vigorously campaigned for the vice president to single-handedly determine the results of the 2020 election.”
“Based on the evidence, the court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6, 2021,” Carter added.
Since the House committee has already obtained and released Eastman’s emails, the case was largely academic, but Eastman argued that the decision had harmed his reputation.
“The crime-fraud ruling of the district court imposes a stigma not only on petitioner,” the petition said, “but also on his former client, the former president of the United States and current candidate for the presidency in 2024.”
On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected Eastman’s appeal challenging the lower court’s ruling that he and Trump attempted to block the certification of 2020 election results.