Laurence Tribe: Interfering in a presidential election … again
Just as partisan leftwing historians such as Jon Meacham and Michael Beschloss bend contemporary history to the unrecognizable left, Professor Laurence Tribe is the go-to scholar for radical leftwing legal spin. That means you will see them all as regulars on MSNBC.
Tribe was the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard Law School – and is currently a Harvard professor emeritus. The 81-year-old scholar was born in Shanghai, China. His father was an American and his mother a Russian immigrant Chinese citizen from Harbin, China.
Make no mistake about it, Tribe has had an impressive record as he traveled the progressive academic/political worlds. He entered college at the age of 16 to study math. He was a member of the team that won the intercollegiate National Debate Tournament in 1961. He graduated summa cum laude. He followed up with a law degree from Harvard, this time magna cum laude.
Tribe had an impressive list of former students. Among them were President Barack Obama, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Justice Elena Kagan and impeachment prosecutors Jamie Raskin and Adam Schiff. He did not turn all his students into leftwing zombies, however. Senator Ted Cruz and Chief Justice John Roberts were also among his students. Perhaps they skipped class on Indoctrination Day.
Tribe served as a “judicial advisor” to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. He was later named as “Senior Counselor of Access to Justice in the Department of Justice.” He resigned after a short period due to health issues.
Tribe was co-founder of the leftwing American Constitutional Society – a law policy organization that was formed to counter the influence of the more conservative Federalist Society. Both groups perform similar functions on the left and right respectively – although that fact is never covered when the media attacks the Federalist Society as a malevolent political force.
As an attorney, Tribe’s most notable cases involved him defending leftwing positions. He came to prominence as a result of his testimony in opposition to the confirmation of Judge Robert Bork to the Supreme Court. He represented Al Gore in his attempt to have the results of the 2000 presidential election overturned by having the courts agree to a “selective” recount – meaning only recounting in Democrat dominated jurisdictions in Florida.
That was not the only time Tribe was involved in attempting to influence or overturn an outcome of a presidential election. In 2016, he was involved in a more sinister effort. He organized a group of lawyers to provide pro bono legal advice to any Trump Electoral College elector who would switch their vote from Trump. In what Tribe called a “vote of conscience,” he and his group were able to produce the greatest number of “faithless electors” in the history of the country – electors who were persuaded to violate their own commitments and the will of the voters. Sort of turning them into … oh, I don’t know … fraudulent electors? Is that not like trying to overturn an election?
Tribe was a national advocate and informal advisor in the two impeachments of Trump – the first to remove him from office. The second, after he left office, was intended to prevent Trump from ever running again since that impeachment trial came after Trump had already left office. Two of the key figures in those efforts were Congressmen Jamie Raskin and Adam Schiff – Tribe’s pupils and protégés.
Weeell … Tribe is at it again. This time he is supporting an off-the-wall effort to have Trump declared ineligible for public office by using the Fourteenth Amendment – which bars anyone involved in an insurrection against the government of the United States from holding office.
That issue is being advanced by Democrat lawsuits in a number of states. The untested question is whether that provision of the Fourteenth Amendment applies to Trump. If any of those cases were to remove Trump from the ballot based on an insurrection, one of them would quickly reach the Supreme Court to make a decision that would clarify the issue and set a precedent.
For the record, here is the language of the Fourteenth Amendment.
“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”
Tribe rests his case on the unproven belief – or assumption – that (1) what happened on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2016 was, in fact, an organized insurrection and that (2) Trump had organized it as such.
Tribe essentially argues that public opinion – at least the opinion of those on the left – is sufficient to declare January 6th an insurrection and that Trump led it. In fact, Tribe says that if the courts do not determine it to be an insurrection let by Trump, there can be no such thing as an insurrection. That is just biased nonsense – shameful from someone who should know better and probably does. Personally, I think Tribe is using his academic laurels to push partisan poppycock on both points. Tribe is promoting vigilante justice.
Tribe pushes back against those who even suggest that the Fourteenth Amendment would not apply unless the person was first CONVICTED of insurrection in a court-of-law. He disregards the rule-of-law and the presumption of innocence until convicted. Among all the charges against Trump at this moment, not one of them involves insurrection or even inciting a riot.
Tribe establishes a very low bar for insurrection and a less clear connection to Trump as the leader and cause of even the riot on Capitol Hill. So low that Tribe’s and his friends’ effort to overturn the 2016 by influencing elections to be unfaithful to their commitment and the will of the voters might be seen as … an insurrection. Some may see that as a stretch, but in terms of legal arguments, it is not a stretch that is completely out of reach. What he did may or may not have been legal. That would have to be adjudicated. But his actions were arguably unethical and undemocratic.
Tribe is a constitutional scholar who too often ignores the rule-of-law … the presumption of innocence … and the foundation of the constitutional principles of a limited federal government and governance rising from the people. In other words, he is a stereotypical leftwinger.
So, there ‘tis.