Tribe, Laurence H.

Tribe, Laurence H. (Henry)

(1941–  ) legal scholar; born in Shanghai, China, to Russian-Jewish parents. His father was a naturalized American and the family moved to San Francisco when Tribe was five years old. He is considered a brilliant Supreme Court litigator and legal scholar. In addition to his teaching career at Harvard (1969), he served as a consultant to several government committees including the U.S. Senate Committee on Public Works (1970–72). In 1978 he helped write a new constitution for the Marshall Islands. Perhaps he is best known for his frequent Congressional testimony, particularly in regard to Supreme Court nominees (he influenced the failure of Robert H. Bork's nomination in 1987). He warned against "presidential court-packing" in his book, God Save This Honorable Court (1985). His expertise was in legal, constitutional, and jurisprudential theory; the role of law in shaping technological development; and the uses and abuses of mathematical methods in policy and systems analysis. His major publications are Legal Process and Technological Change (1980), and American Constitutional Law (1978).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.