Monday, March 30, 2015

Pop Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe

OK, Kids,

Spring break is about over, and it’s time to take up your pencil for this quiz about Harvard Professor Laurence Tribe. He’s been in the news a lot lately because he has been moonlighting for Peabody Energy, which seeks to gut clean air and climate standards. Let’s learn a little more about him.

The quiz is multiple choice, so it shouldn’t be too hard. The correct answers are below. We are on the honor system here, so no cheating! If you get every question right, let us know and you win a valuable free #ff from @Cleanairfrank.

So, let’s start the quiz!

1 How many courses is Professor Tribe actually teaching at Harvard Law School this semester?

A) Five
B) One
C) Zero


2 Professor Tribe’s Harvard students have not included:

A) Barack Obama
B) Ted Cruz
C) Brian Williams


3 In 2005, Harvard reprimanded Professor Tribe for:

A) Plagiarism
B) Planting a secret camera in a women’s bathroom on campus
C) Urging students to burn Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part Two


4 In 2011, Professor Tribe’s name was yanked from a Supreme Court brief because:

A) He sent a secret blackmail note to Justice Roberts, a former student, over the Affordable Care Act
B) The Justice Department protested that his involvement would be an ethical breech
C) He called Justice Sotomayor a bully and a dummy


5 In 2000, Professor Tribe argued to the Supreme Court that:

A) Clean Air Act standards designed to protect children and others were unconstitutional.
B) Y2K legally could not happen until 2001.
C) Bill Belichick did not cheat on his contract with the New York Jets.


Correct answers

1 B

2 C It is, of course, well known that President Obama was a prized student. So was Cruz, though he and Tribe have argued over whether he received an A+ or a mere A. Williams dropped out of college for reasons that he has explained in various ways. He may yet contend that Tribe was a mentor.

3 A

Tribe received a relative wrist slap from the then-law school Dean, Elena Kagan, who, coincidentally, used to be his research aide. (And whom he later urged that President Obama name to the Supreme Court. Hmmmm.)

4 B Tribe initially was on an “amicus” brief for Peabody Energy and other coal interests which sought to block efforts by states to take action against coal-burning power companies to limit damages from climate change. The Justice Department said Tribe had to withdraw because of the ethics law which seeks to bar former Justice employes --Tribe had been one briefly -- from seeking to influence the agency for a period after they leave. In an unrelated matter, Tribe did impugn Justice Sotomayor. The idea that Professor Tribe or anyone else could blackmail Justice Roberts into supporting the Affordable Care Act is, of course, pure fantasy.

5 A In that case, Professor Tribe was moonlighting for the General Electric Corp., as he was involving GE’s efforts to escape punishment for poisoning the Hudson River. The Supreme Court unanimously rejected Tribe’s argument in the Clean Air Act case, with Justice Scalia writing the decision. Tribe invoked the Constitution in the dirty-water case as well.

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