Tags: Barack Obama | Laurence Tribe | Obama | EPA | coal

Prof Tribe: To Obama, States Are 'Puppets of a Federal Ventriloquist'

By    |   Monday, 20 April 2015 04:49 PM

President Barack Obama's one-time mentor and professor of constitutional law has accused the administration of "burning the Constitution," and has emerged as a new Republican hero.

Liberal constitutional scholar and Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe is representing Peabody Energy Inc., the nation's largest coal mining company, in a legal slugfest over Environmental Protection Agency regulations involving limits on carbon dioxide emissions, a cause near and dear to his former student's heart and policy, The Hill notes.

His actions in the case have caused conservative legislators to embrace Tribe as, if not exactly one of their own, certainly on their approved list when it comes to environmental regulations and the Obama administration.

Arguing the case before the federal appellate court for the District of Columbia Circuit on Thursday, Tribe said: "The EPA is coloring outside the lines, attempting to do something the statute clearly forbids and coming up with every imaginable rationale to defend it," The Hill reports.

He accused the Obama administration of actions that would "upturn the entire constitutional system" and turn states into "puppets of a federal ventriloquist."

Tribe told the House Energy and Power Subcommittee: "You know, I've cared about the environment ever since I was a kid, and you know, I taught the first environmental course in this country, and I've won major victories for environmental causes. But I'm committed to doing it within the law," Politico reported.

"Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy," Tribe said.

GOP legislators, incensed at what they consider to be Obama's constitutional violations regarding amnesty for illegal aliens and opening up relations with Cuba, have welcomed Tribe with open arms.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urged state governments to ignore the climate rulings, posting on his Facebook page: "For weeks, I've been arguing that the Obama administration's so-called 'Clean Power' regulation is not only unfair, but probably illegal. Today, iconic liberal constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe, who was President Obama's constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School, said he agrees."

"States shouldn't be frightened, nor should they allow themselves to be bullied in doing what political operatives in the Obama administration demand. As Laurence Tribe confirmed today, the legal basis for this regulation is flimsy at best."

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., said: "No less an expert than Laurence Tribe has testified that this proposed rule exceeds EPA's statutory authority and raises numerous constitutional issues."

Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., said: "The president wants to do things differently than the law of the land allows, and he is frustrated, as described by Professor Tribe, that Congress refuses to do what the president wants us to do," The Hill reported.

Richard Revesz, director of the Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University School of Law, and others have pointed out that Tribe is being paid by Peabody Coal Co.

"He's not, at that point, a liberal professor expressing his independent views. He is a lawyer for a client," Revesz said, The Hill noted.

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President Barack Obama's one-time mentor and professor of constitutional law has accused the administration of "burning the Constitution," and has emerged as a new Republican hero.
Laurence Tribe, Obama, EPA, coal
Monday, 20 April 2015 04:49 PM
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