Laurence H. Tribe
Laurence H. Tribe

Laurence H. Tribe is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University and Professor of Constitutional Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School, where he has taught since 1968. Born in China to Russian Jewish parents, Tribe entered Harvard in 1958 at 16; graduated summa cum laude in Mathematics (1962) and magna cum laude in Law (1966); clerked for the California and U.S. Supreme Courts (1966-68); received tenure at 30; was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences at 38 and to the American Philosophical Society in 2010. Tribe helped write the constitutions of South Africa, the Czech Republic, and the Marshall Islands and has received eleven honorary degrees. He has prevailed in three-fifths of the many appellate cases he has argued (including 35 in the U.S. Supreme Court) and in 2010 was appointed by President Obama and Attorney General Holder to serve as the first Senior Counselor for Access to Justice. Tribe has written 115 books and articles, including his treatise, American Constitutional Law, cited more than any other legal text since 1950.

Former Solicitor General Erwin Griswold wrote: “[N]o book, and no lawyer not on the [Supreme] Court, has ever had a greater influence on the development of American constitutional law,” and the Northwestern Law Review opined that no-one else “in American history has… simultaneously achieved Tribe’s preeminence… as a practitioner and… scholar of constitutional law.”

Professor Tribe's Twitter handle is @tribelaw

Columns by Laurence H. Tribe
First, “Let’s Corrupt All the Lawyers”: Trump’s Pathway to Autocracy

Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence H. Tribe and former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut comment on an order last week by Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordering former Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran to answer questions he had declined to answer in January before Special Counsel Jack Smith’s grand jury. Professor Tribe and Mr. Aftergut point out that lawyers are uniquely positioned to either defend democracy against tyranny or facilitate its downfall; Judge Howell’s order reaffirmed the DC district court’s commitment to the rule of law as our shield against tyranny.

To Become Speaker, McCarthy Undercuts Law, Order, and Country

Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence H. Tribe and former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut argue that newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy chose ambition over law, order, and country. Professor Tribe and Mr. Aftergut describe how Speaker McCarthy’s concessions to the radical Republicans put us over the brink and seriously endanger democracy.

A Constitutional Republic Demands a Constrained Judiciary: Judicial Overreach in “Vacating” Biden’s Loan Forgiveness Program

Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence H. Tribe comments on a decision by a federal judge in Texas vacating the Biden administration’s loan forgiveness program. Professor Tribe argues that Judge Mark Pittman, a Trump appointee, incorrectly concluded that the court had jurisdiction to review the challenge to the debt relief program and explains why judicial restraint is such a critical part of a constitutional republic.

Some Questions for the Alito Five

In light of Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., which would overrule Roe v. Wade and its progeny, UChicago Law professor emeritus Albert W. Alschuler and Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence H. Tribe ask six questions of the apparent five-Justice majority. Professors Alschuler and Tribe point out some of the inconsistencies and illogic of the opinion and call on the Justices to account for these issues.

An Ex-U.S. Attorney Cuts to the Chase About Prosecuting Trump. Is Attorney General Garland Doing the Same?

Harvard Law professor Laurence H. Tribe and former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut comment on the model prosecution memo that former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade recently published describing how to indict former President Donald Trump for his criminal actions with respect to the 2020 presidential election. Professor Tribe and Mr. Aftergut explain why the memo is so effective, how it should influence Attorney General Merrick Garland, and why seeking an indictment is critical to preventing future lawless action.

No, Republicans Cannot Throw the Presidential Election into the House so that Trump Wins

UF Levin College of Law professor and economist Neil H. Buchanan, Cornell Law professor Michael C. Dorf, and Harvard Law professor emeritus Laurence H. Tribe explain why President Trump’s plan to win the election through a forced decision by the U.S. House of Representatives relies on an incorrect reading of the plain text of the Twelfth Amendment of the Constitution. The authors argue, even in a best-case scenario for Trump, in which the electoral votes of Pennsylvania are thrown out, Biden would still win with a majority of the resulting electoral votes and the House would simply not have the legal authority to vote on an election that had already been decided.