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The Lincoln Club of Orange County is an organization of business men and women that has supported conservative candidates for federal, state, and local office since 1962. Its ability to engage in political activities, including running its own campaigns on behalf of candidates, campaigns that are often called independent expenditures, has been critical to its success for almost 50 years.
In the late 1990s, the City of Irvine and other cities throughout the State of California began restricting the public’s rights to conduct and contribute to independent expenditures, often by limiting the amount of money that could be contributed to, or spent by, an independent expenditure campaign. From the beginning, the Lincoln Club saw these restrictions for what they were: a direct assault on everyone’s First Amendment free speech rights.
The Lincoln Club determined to fight the erosion of our free speech rights by challenging the City of Irvine in federal court, and we interviewed several leading law firms and legal scholars in search of an attorney who would be committed to turning back these intrusions on our fundamental rights. After a long process, we retained Dr. John Eastman and his Claremont Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence. While we did not doubt we should prevail, anyone facing long and difficult litigation knows no outcome is certain. It was Dr. Eastman who won the case.
Dr. Eastman filed our suit against the city in 1999. When we lost the summary judgment motion in the summer of 2000, he immediately appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, so often a hostile forum for conservative causes. After meticulously briefing and urgently arguing the appeal in 2001, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit decided in favor of Dr. Eastman’s position and overturned in the trial court decision.
The victory that John Eastman secured for the Lincoln Club was complete. Ultimately, Dr. Eastman was able to secure a court order requiring the city to pay the Lincoln Club’s legal fees. More importantly, Dr. Eastman’s success caused cities and counties all over the State of California and beyond to rescind their restrictions on independent expenditures, setting a critical precedent and securing far broader free-speech rights for every American.
Dr. Eastman crafted the master strategy and all tactics at trial and through appeal. It was his energy, focus, and skill that guided our suit through and won a critical battle against government burdens on speech rights. For this, and so many other reasons, the Lincoln Club continues to hold Dr. Eastman in the highest esteem.
John Eastman is a superb constitutional lawyer who did an excellent job in representing St. James Anglican Church in a petition to the United States Supreme Court. John has extensive knowledge, tremendous insight, and is highly respected. HIs work for us was outstanding and we would use him again without question.