Phi Beta Cons

Pearls Richer than Tribe?

From my new piece on the home page:

Does Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe write all of his own material? Or does he often misappropriate the work of others? Tribe is one of the Left’s leading constitutional scholars, but these questions have plagued him for years.

In 2004, The Weekly Standard broke the story that much of his 1985 book God Save This Honorable Court had been taken, in one case word-for-word but usually with small adjustments, from Judges and Presidents, a 1974 book by historian Henry J. Abraham. Then–Harvard president Lawrence Summers, along with then–Harvard Law dean Elena Kagan, strongly condemned Tribe’s actions, but administered no punishment. (Tribe, Summers, and Kagan all now have ties to the Obama administration: Tribe, on leave from Harvard, runs the Justice Department’s Access to Justice Initiative; Summers is director of the National Economic Council; and Kagan is solicitor general and has been nominated to the Supreme Court.)

Through a source who provided information on condition of anonymity, National Review has learned that God Save This Honorable Court wasn’t the only book of Tribe’s to contain material that had been presented under different authorship elsewhere. His 1978 treatise American Constitutional Law contains language that mirrors passages in the November 1976 issue of the Harvard Law Review. You can see a side-by-side comparison of the passages in question here, or click here to download a Word document.

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