Lawrence Tribe is an American constitutional scholar and the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at the Harvard Law School. A longstanding proponent of liberal jurisprudence, in 2001 Tribe helped found the American Constitution Society a supposed liberal counterweight to the conservative Federalist Society and was long considered a possible Supreme Court nominee by a Democratic administration. Tribe received his A.B. in math from Harvard in 1962, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1966. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart from 1967-1968 and became an Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard in 1968, where has taught ever since. A fierce critic of many recent Supreme Court decisions, Tribe has argued over thirty cases before the Court, including the infamous Bush v. Gore in 2000, and is the author of Abortion: The Clash of Absolutes, American Constitutional Law, and co-author of On Reading the Constitution (with Michael Dorf). He is also a former Professor of President Obama and current supporter.
Question: Collectively, what should we be doing that we’re not?
Laurence Tribe: Well I wish that people could be more focused on the impact that their lives have on others; that they should be more alert to the fact that even though as individuals they may not change the fate of the planet or even the fate of human civilization, that they should act as thought they can have that effect. That if people could act as though this one trip that they’ve got through this remarkable universe is one that they need to make the best of, that’s something that I would plead with people to do. The other thing that I would plead with people to do is to be a little less confident that you know all the answers; to know that you may be wrong; to know that the deepest beliefs you hold just may not be right. And therefore be less willing to impose them on others.