Claremont Institute

Dr. John C. Eastman

Founding Director


Dr. John C. Eastman is Founding Director of the Claremont Institute's Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, and currently serves as the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University's Dale E. Fowler School of Law. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Claremont Institute.

Dr. Eastman received his B.A. from the University of Dallas, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from Claremont Graduate School. He completed his studies at the University of Chicago Law School, earning his J.D. in 1995 and immediately took a position clerking for Judge Michael Luttig in the

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. From 1996 to 1997 he served as a law clerk with the Honorable Justice Clarence Thomas in the Supreme Court of the United States. After concluding his clerkships, Dr. Eastman took a position with Kirkland & Ellis in Los Angeles until 1999. Upon leaving Kirkland & Ellis, Dr. Eastman took up his current post, teaching at Chapman University, where he served as dean from 2007 to 2010. He also founded the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence in 1999 and has served as its Director since that time.

Dr. Eastman also serves as the chairman of the National Organization for Marriage and is on the Advisory Board for the St. Thomas More Society of Orange County. He has been recognized by Chapman University as Professor of the Year (2002) and for Faculty Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activity (2013). Additionally, he received the St. Thomas More Award from Franciscan University (2010) and the J. Reuben Clark Award from the J. Reuben Clark Society of Orange County (2010).

Dr. Eastman is a prolific author. A selection of Dr. Eastman’s scholarly publications includes  “Papers Please: Does the Constitution Permit the States a Role in Immigration Enforcement?” in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, “Reflections on Justice Thomas’s Twenty Years on the Bench” in the University of Detroit Mercy Law Review, and “Cheating Marriage: A Tragedy in Three Acts” in the Ave Maria Law Journal. â€‹

Various committees of Congress have invited Dr. Eastman to provide expert testimony on various topics, including President Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration and the IRS’s felonious disclosure of tax returns.

In the courtroom, Dr. Eastman has represented 17 parties before the Supreme Court of the United States. He has also represented over 75 amici before the Supreme Court in cases such as Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores (2014), Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Burwell (2014), Harris v. Quinn (2014), National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning (2014), National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012), Gonzales v. Carhart (2007), and Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000).

Dr. Eastman has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, BBC World News, and PBS. His writings and commentary on the courts and the constitution have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, National Review, the Economist, the AtlanticSlate, the National Catholic Register, and the ABA Journal.

Read Dr. Eastman's contributions to the Claremont Review of Books here.

Back to staff page






Enter Your Email id