John Eastman Resigns as Chapman Law School Dean to Run for State Attorney General

Controversial conservative legal scholar John Eastman, who brought his buddy and Bush torture memo author John Yoo to Orange County to teach law last year, is stepping down as dean of Chapman University's law school to run for California attorney general.

That makes Eastman the second Orange County Republican to officially seek the post, as state Sen. Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach) has also thrown his hat in the ring for AG.

"John has been a very important dean in the history of our School of Law," Chapman Chancellor Danielle Struppa states in a statement issued by the private Orange university. "In the last three years, he has significantly strengthened the scholarly output of the school, as well as the profile of its students."

She wished Eastman "well in the forthcoming race, I know we will all miss his leadership and his energy."

Eastman goes into his reasons for stepping down in the email to students and alumni after the jump . . .

Earlier today I met with the Chancellor and the Law School Faculty and staff to announce that I will be stepping down as Dean, effective Monday. As you may have heard, I have been receiving a great deal of encouragement to consider a bid for Attorney General of California, and have decided to move forward with that endeavor. I do so with mixed feelings, I must say. On the one hand, it is an exciting undertaking for me and my family, one that will, if successful, allow me to bring my particular constitutional expertise to bear in helping solve some of the many problems our state currently faces.

On the other hand, I will certainly miss my daily interactions with one of the most fun, most congenial, and most hard-working student bodies in higher legal education today. What we have accomplished together over the past three years has been nothing short of spectacular--not just the rise in our rankings, but the continued commitment to a school where "best quality of life" means a lot more than palm trees in front. Mentoring relationships with a world-class faculty and the development of life-long friendships with your classmates make Chapman a very unique place.

Although I am stepping down, I will remain a member of the faculty, so I hope to see you on occasion.

One great concern of mine is that we not lose ground during the transition to the next Dean of the Law School, and on that score, I am delighted to report that former Associate Dean Scott Howe has agreed to step in as Interim Dean. As many of you know, Professor Howe has been with the law school almost since the beginning, and served as Associate Dean under Dean Emeritus Parham Williams for eight years. He is a highly accomplished scholar, an indefatigable administrator, and perhaps most importantly, has the full respect and confidence of the Law School faculty and staff. Please give him every courtesy and assistance that you can.

Thank you again for your ongoing and enthusiastic support of Chapman University School of Law. For those of you interested in following my efforts on the campaign trail, you can visit


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