Renowned Harvard law Prof. Laurence Tribe has a “nebulous” role as the Justice Department’s “senior counselor for access to justice,” says the New York Times. Tribe, 68, a mentor and former teacher of President Obama, has been asked to suggest ways to improve legal services for the poor, find alternatives to court-intensive litigation, and strengthen the fairness and independence of domestic courts.
Tribe has a small staff, a limited budget, little concrete authority and a portfolio far less sweeping than one he had hoped to take on in Washington. He is also largely invisible. The Justice Department is not allowing him to give interviews, apparently in part because of nervousness in the administration that his unabashedly liberal views might draw criticism or that Tribe might stray from his assigned topic.