Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Larry Tribe vs. Larry Tribe

Surprise, surprise.

Compare and contrast:

1. Earlier this week, Larry Tribe signed his name to an idiotic letter to the Senate from some 350 law professors contending that the Senate has a “constitutional duty” to give a Supreme Court nominee “a prompt and fair hearing and a timely vote.”

2. Back in 1985, in his book God Save This Honorable Court, Tribe set forth the obvious, but contrary, reality that “The Senate has ways of blocking Supreme Court nominations other than by straightforward rejection in a confirmation vote.” To illustrate the point, he cited an instance in which the Senate “killed” a nomination “by simply refusing to act upon it.” (Page 82.) (Tribe’s example happened to involve a mediocre candidate who ended up asking for his nomination to be withdrawn, but there is of course not one Appointments Clause for some Supreme Court nominees and another one for others.)

As I noted before, there are plenty of other reasons that Tribe can’t possibly believe the constitutional claim he signed his name to this week (and why no other minimally competent law professor could either).



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