By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
But perhaps Eastman's biggest deceit at the hearing was casting NOM as law-abiding. For years, the group has flagrantly ignored long-established state laws requiring disclosure of major political financial activities. In 2008, for example, NOM spent almost $2 million to overturn Maine's gay-marriage law and, unlike its campaign opponents, refused to file accurate reports for public inspection. The tactic caused Laguna Beach gay-rights activist and former Ronald Reagan campaign adviser Fred Karger, head of Rights Equal Rights, to file a complaint.
Eastman claims NOM's political donors—people such as Mitt Romney and groups including the Mormon Church—should be veiled in secrecy on par with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP) Alabama membership list that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1950s could be confidential in part because police and white supremacists were savagely beating and murdering NAACP activists. More than a half-dozen times, the ethics commission and Supreme Court, as well as a federal appellate judge, have forcefully rejected NOM's preposterous attempt to equate its situation to civil-rights-era violence. Tellingly, even the Republican-controlled U.S. Supreme Court refuses to entertain the argument.
When Eastman is done with his theatrics, he should take a hint from a larger-than-life conservative darling. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia observed in a 2010 opinion, "Requiring people to stand up in public for their political acts fosters civic courage, without which democracy is doomed." Scalia added that attempts to expand political secrecy and be "protected from the accountability of criticism" are inconsistent with a nation that hails itself as the "Home of the Brave."
For the chest-thumping, Bible-waving Chapman prof, Scalia's last line must have felt emasculating.