“Legal Ethics, Bar Discipline and John Eastman”

Paul Rosenzweig:

Here’s my bottom line: Bar discipline is an instrument ill suited to the resolution of complaints of the sort being raised about Eastman’s conduct. While it is quite possible that he may face discipline, it is equally likely that his conduct will be deemed within the bounds of accepted legal ethics requirements. 

The exercise of considering the Eastman case through the lens of the disciplinary process demonstrates that the threats to American democracy posed by Trumpist election denialism cannot be addressed adequately by bar discipline. At best, it is an ancillary remedy, and at worst it is a distraction from the far more urgent and efficacious remedies of criminal prosecution, congressional investigation and legislative correction. While the integrity of the legal profession is certainly a high-value principle, it’s important to consider prioritizing other more urgent problems, like the threat to elections themselves, for mitigation.

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