Obama’s Would-Be “Rule of Law” Counselor Calls Bradley Manning’s Treatment Unconstitutional

In Charlie Savage’s story from last year on the sidelining of Laurence Tribe as head of an “Access to Justice” program at DOJ, he reported that Tribe originally believed he would serve as counselor for “rule of law” issues in Obama’s Administration.

There was also concern over how his presence might play out internally, several administration officials said. Some officials feared that he might be unmanageable, intruding into all manner of policy areas and able to call on Mr. Obama as a trump card.

“He has an ego,” said Charles Fried, a former solicitor general in the Reagan administration and a fellow Harvard law professor. “He’s entitled to it. He’s earned it.”

Several friends and administration officials said Mr. Tribe had initially sought and believed he would be given a far broader title and assignment: counselor for “rule of law” issues, which would have come with a mandate to help shape matters of national security and foreign policy. That did not happen, but Mr. Tribe came to Washington anyway.

After less than a year in that position, Tribe left last December, citing medical issues.

Now, the guy Obama sidelined to make sure he didn’t impose too much rule of law on his Administration has strongly criticized Bradley Manning’s treatment, not only signing a letter condemning Manning’s treatment, but elaborating on why that treatment was unconstitutional.

[Tribe] told the Guardian he signed the letter because Manning appeared to have been treated in a way that “is not only shameful but unconstitutional” as he awaits court martial in Quantico marine base in Virginia.

The US soldier has been held in the military brig since last July, charged with multiple counts relating to the leaking of thousands of embassy cables and other secret documents to the WikiLeaks website.

Under the terms of his detention, he is kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, checked every five minutes under a so-called “prevention of injury order” and stripped naked at night apart from a smock.

Tribe said the treatment was objectionable “in the way it violates his person and his liberty without due process of law and in the way it administers cruel and unusual punishment of a sort that cannot be constitutionally inflicted even upon someone convicted of terrible offences, not to mention someone merely accused of such offences”.

A pity. Back when Tribe was celebrating candidate Obama, he called him the best student he ever taught at Harvard Law and promised he would defend civil liberties and would not appoint justices who put executive power above rule of law.

Tribe said Americans’ civil liberties are hanging by a thread. “But it’s better to have a thread than to have the thread cut,” he said. “A Republican president would be in a position to cut that thread.”


Tribe said that if Obama were to be elected, he would appoint justices “who share his view that the Constitution is a living document that has to be interpreted in light of evolving values of decency.”

“They would not be justices who fool themselves into thinking they know what the Constitution’s original meaning was, and they can apply it as if nothing has happened in the last 200 years,” Tribe said. “They would be justices who have a serious record of support for human rights and constitutional values, rather than justices who simply have shown their loyalty to executive power.”


On a more personal note, Tribe called Obama the “best student I ever had” and the “most exciting research assistant.”

As to Justices Obama would appoint, Tribe has proven himself badly wrong about who would and would not make a good Justice.

But it appears that his belief that Obama would support the rule of law was a far greater misjudgment.

    • emptywheel says:

      As the post notes, Tribe is that professor. I just think the other connection–that Tribe thought he could bring rule of law back in O’s admin–more important.

      • Phoenix Woman says:

        It was Larry Tribe versus Tom Daschle, Rahm Emanuel, David Plouffe, Hillary Clinton, and all the rest of the Third Way crowd so worshiped by all the Serious People in the Beltway and the NYT corner offices.

        Tribe didn’t stand a chance.

        • Ralph says:

          I never would have believed someone who could make it all the way to the presidency could turn out to be so pliable. What a disappointment. And of course the Republicans attacked him as a rabid socialist anyway. From that point of view, he might as well have been the radical they portrayed. Limbaugh couldn’t have displayed any more outrage if Obama had appointed Raul Castro as his chief of staff.

      • PhilPerspective says:

        I thought there was another one, too. Because the place where I read it, the name certainly wasn’t Tribe(who I’d recognize). I’ll have to see if I can find it.

  1. PJEvans says:

    If Tribe thought Obama was his best student, then either Obama was really good at faking it, or Tribe is a terrible judge of people.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I think Mr. Obama is just very good at performing to the expectations of those he has most to gain from, and very good at hiding it. As for what he’s really like inside, even he may not know.

      • PJEvans says:

        Make that those he thinks he has most to gain from, and I’ll cheer you on. (He ought to fear the voters; we’re the ones that can fire him.)

        • medicinecat says:

          I don’t think “fearing the voters” is even a consideration in these times. If the MOTU want Obama re-elected, the votes will magically appear, ala Wisconsin/Prosser. If the MOTU are done with Obama, his Republican opponent will win.

          I think we delude ourselves by thinking our vote is that last card we can play. They control who wins and who loses.

          • onitgoes says:

            Sadly, I agree with you, medicinecat, and not with PJEvans. I don’t think we the people/voters have much of any “power” anymore in terms of how “our” federal govt is run, and we are certainly seeing the erosion of what little power “we voters” have at the state level vis Wisconsin.

            Thanks v. much for this update. As someone who’s worked in the legal sphere all my life, I’m well aware of Lawrence Tribe. I confess my ignorance about Tribe leaving the Great Pretender’s Admin “quietly.” I must’ve missed that story – here at FDL (as I’m sure it was either not at all or hardly “reported” elsewhere).

            Most citizens wouldn’t “get” much from learing about Tribe either leaving the O Admin OR from learning about his signing this letter. I think it’s vitally important to highlight this, and I find this post neither “gossipy” nor, I don’t know, irrelevant? or useless? Thanks for the links and keeping this info out front and center.

      • Knut says:

        As for what he’s really like inside, even he may not know.

        Nice catch. He’s in over his head.

      • bailey2739 says:

        A lot like THE Democratic cameleon, Billy Clinton, wouldn’t you say? Both grew up without a father figure & both became MASTER manipulators. Quelle surprise!

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          It seems fair to criticize Mr. Obama’s policies as more extreme, but Mr. Clinton, too, was an enabler of neo-liberal economic policies. The mirror disease Mr. Obama seems to suffer acutely from is the more harmful because it is so insidious.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The child may be father to the man and mother to the woman, but the ambitious student is not necessarily father to the politician.

    In Mr. Obama’s case, my guess is that in Tribe’s class, he mirrored Tribe’s civil liberties priorities. On the campaign, he mirrored the aspiration common to millions who hated CheneyBush’s excesses and wanted a return to the rule of law. In the White House, he mirrors his most vocal GOP opponents, the strongest voices in the military, the most ardent neo-liberal economic advisers.

    The lesson, I suppose, is never lay a chameleon on a plaid tartan and expect him to remain true blue, and don’t choose one as president.

    • Cynthia Kouril says:

      OMG! That was an episode of House!

      Patient had this weaird condition which made him copy whoever the last person he spoke to, or the most dominant person in the room if several people are there. It was called Mirror, mirror.

  3. orionATL says:

    i don’t think using bradley manning in a headline

    in order to “sell” a gossipy story, mostly about prof tribe, is very admirable journalism –

    if journalism is a concern.

    • PJEvans says:

      Well, Tribe’s views on Manning are included in the post, so it’s not misleading in that way. It’s not misleading like the stuff on TV, where they promote stories heavily that are worth maybe thirty seconds of coverage.

    • bmaz says:

      How is it “gossipy”? It was Tribe who signed the letter and then elaborated; the angle of the story was supplied by Tribe himself. That is not gossip.

    • szielinski says:

      Tribe denouncing as unconstitutional Bradley Manning’s confinement is news, especially since Tribe resigned from the Obama administration because he was little more than academic and moral-legal eye candy for a lawless Presidency.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Another quiet protest resignation, the kind that hides from those who most need to know why a professional leaves the employ of the nation’s top political leader. That ensures that the protest is meaningless, that it will enable rather than dispute the behavior it is meant to reject.

      Cynthia Kouril and I went round and round on that topic on a post the other day about Eric Holder’s “resignation”, timed, like Mrs. Clinton’s, to take place between elections. In Holder’s case, it appears to be because the White House threw him under the bus over using federal courts instead of military commissions to try a small band of alleged terrorists. More generally, it treats him in practice like it would have treated Dawn Johnsen, in the same contemptuous way it treats the rule of law.

      Nominally, the debate is pitched as being about avoiding “distractions” to the president’s “program” and his re-election. In reality, it’s about whether anyone but a small clique will influence government policy and whether the government will be run to serve the interests of anyone outside that small clique.

      In general, such quiet resignations do not serve the public, they harm it. Here, they protect the president, his party, the resignor’s personal access, and his or her professional status and income. They abuse the public by denying it knowledge of a debate and of disappointments worth resigning over. Public service at the top has joined the great oxymoron’s, of which military intelligence is the prime example.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          It’s also obvious that Tribe resigned for personal reasons, in that Obama was not keeping the implied or explicit promises he made to Tribe when asking him to join his administration. I imagine WH spin doctors emphasized to Tribe than his personal disappointments did not rise to the level of disagreements over public policy. Tribe would have recognized the spin, but left quietly anyway.

          The nomination, but not appointment, of Dawn Johnsen falls into the same category as Tribe’s one-off role. Obama used Tribe’s short-term association with his administration as show for progressives.

          That’s a crude irony amounting to poking a stick in their eye. Progressives are the least likely constituency to be put off with Obama’s all potatoes and no meat policies regarding resurrecting the rule of law, the DoJ and other federal regulatory agencies that were made moribund by eight years of CheneyBush misrule.

          • harpie says:

            The way Elizabeth Warren has been treated also comes to mind.

            And since we didn’t get Dawn Johnsen, we get Caroline Diane Krass at OLC, writing that she’s sure the President has the authority to use kinetic energy against Libya and those unfortunate enough to happen to live there.

            Krass interned for Judge Patricia Wald, who might also like to sign some kind of letter…like Tribe did. Read about her at The Constitution Project.

            • harpie says:

              For instance, Wald was part of the War Powers Initiative Committee at The Constitution Project, which wrote this:

              DECIDING TO USE FORCE ABROAD: WAR POWERS in a System of CHECKS AND BALANCES [pdf]; The Constitution Project; 2005

              She is also a member of the Liberty and Security Committee of The Constitution Project, which wrote the following:

              Troubling Obama Administration Positions Threaten the Constitution [pdf]; Liberty and Security Committee of The Constitution Project; March 30, 2009

              […] When President Obama took office, he inherited a myriad of complex legal problems, many difficult to solve or reform. We recognize that it is still early in the administration, but we are concerned that decisions now being made will both create unfortunate legal precedent and cause great suffering for people who are adversely affected. We are apprehensive about what these decisions say about our country’s commitment to the rule of law and to our constitutional values. […]

              President Obama expects, as he should, to be held accountable to the Constitution. His responses to a Boston Globe survey circulated to all major presidential candidates in 2007 reveal an appreciation for the role that Congress and the courts play in our constitutional system. President Obama must fulfill these promises, and those that he made when he took the oath of office – to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” […]

        • Cynthia Kouril says:

          Yeah, E of H,

          I don’t think that any of these folks resigned “in protest”, I think thye just resigned. You WANT them to resign in protest, but I’ve yet to see one in this admin.

          Honestly, I think that charater assasintaion that happend to Paul O’Neil was an aobject lesson lost on no one. O’Neil was right, prescient even, and yet the inside the Beltway crowd did everthing intheir power to destroy his reputation.

          It’s different than inthe days of Nixon when the press supported whistleblowers and people who resigned in protest. Back inthose days, it made you a hero, which meant a few years later Cy Vance could do it without fear of reputational disaster.

          Since O’Neil, there is 1) no moral support, and 2) the danger that if you are publicly transformed into a nut or “disgruntled former employee” that you will undercut or even completly backfire the very message you were trying to send.

          Fix that problem, and I think you will get your “protest resignations back”.

          • onitgoes says:

            Very good points, and I tend to agree with you. Who knows if Tribe’s resignation signifies a “protest” resignation or not? It’s hard to say and ends up in the realm of speculation and tea leaf reading. I don’t know.

            But we all certainly know how very much the Great Pretender HATES whistleblowers, and I am willing to go out on a limb and speculate that anyone who has “worked” for the O Admin must have some notion of the potential treatment that they might get if they blow the whistle… and I will speculate once again that their “treatment” would not be “pretty” or comfortable. And the “media” would have a field day making them “look bad.” Duly noted.

          • emptywheel says:

            I dunno. Lederman and Kris resigned with enough complaint that it matches Comey’s resignation. That’s not akin to Olson, mind you. But even Goldsmith’s ouster seems to have had as much to do with their deliberately working around him and OLC after he said no one or two times.

  4. orionATL says:

    oh come on, bmaz,

    do i have to do your thinking for you?

    first third of the story – tribe

    middle third – tribe and manning, though with a distinctly “incidentally” aire.

    final third -tribe again.

    this is NOT a story about manning’s mistreatnent.


    tribe is “analysed” by others whose views are reported to us.

    “concern about how his prescence…”

    “he has an ego said…”

    “tribe has proven himself badly wrong …”

    but these quotes are just that,

    the whole thrust and tone is repetition of admin gossip.

    • emptywheel says:


      It’s a story about the fact that a guy who used to believe in Obama, and still worked for him after having been told his “Rule of Law” thing wasn’t going to happen, has now publicly split from him based on Manning’s treatment. He didn’t split when he left the WH (even though he may well have been there already); but he has now.

      We chronicle these kinds of personal splits all the time: David Kris’, Dawn Johnsen, Greg Craig, etc. They’re important bc they’re a measure of how offensive O’s actions have become.

      • emptywheel says:

        Not to mention the many parallels w/coverage of people who quit the Bush Admin (people like Ted Olson) over the same damn issues.

        Yes, I could have written more about Bradley Manning’s treatment. But we’ve written more about that here than anyone else. For the sake of my audience I’m focusing on what is a new development here.

  5. orionATL says:

    [email protected]

    “constricted” is, in this instance, pejorative, not descriptive,

    and there is open the possibility that it is also devious in the way that court politics can be devious.

    mine was a precise response to bmaz,

    and, earlier, a precise criticism of ew’s post.

    mine is not the only nor necessarily the right interpretation, but it is a legitimate and fair criticism.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      You’re right, the comment, in typical e.e. cummings’ typeface, “do i have to do your thinking for you?” is ordinarily viewed as pejorative, although I’m sure it was said with tongue in cheek.

      I don’t think the cited Guardian article fits your description; neither does the Savage article.

      Pilkington is framing the Manning debate for an English and global readership. He personalizes it, as reporters are wont to do, by making it about a protest between hundreds of famous legal scholars, including Tribe, the president’s former tutor, and the president they once admired but no longer do. That’s a sentiment shared by many Guardian readers and the general public in England.

      I agree with the observation that Pilkington’s piece it is less about Manning individually than it is about the growth of mainstream protest over his abusive treatment, protest the president ought to take more seriously than if it were just from DFH bloggers or Guardian reporters. Such treatment in the UK and elsewhere in the EU, home to most of the Guardian’s readers, would more likely to be regarded as both inexplicable and criminal.

      Savage’s piece, of course, is specifically about Tribe and, sotto voce, about how poorly he’s been used by a president now famous for claiming to respect the rule of law while going out of his way to adopt CheneyBush policies that disdain it.

    • mswinkle says:


      Please cover the story billy p posted about TSA groping a SIX YEAR OLD. WE all know this is about conditioning our children to except strangers groping you and removing all our rights. This is an outrage and for years we have taught children to not let strangers touch you and now this. If we do not keep calling attention to this….it will become the norm. thanks

  6. pdaly says:

    On Sunday I took a stroll through the Harvard Law School campus and came across a reference to this letter that professor Tribe, among others (although not Dershowitz, I see) signed. The letter was authored by Harvard Law Professor Benkler and Yale Law Professor Ackerman. Here’s an article about them

    It includes a link (pdf) to Benkler’s upcoming law review article defending wikileaks as a journalistic enterprise.

    According to a flier on a campus kiosk Professor Benkler will be giving a public talk about wikileaks at 4pm this Wednesday April 13, 2011 on the Harvard Law School campus (Austin Hall, East).

    As a side/snide note, I spotted a flier looking for Harvard Law students to work on Obama’s reelection campaign.

  7. maa8722 says:

    This is a good piece and worth pondering.

    Still, there is a lot more to this case which should be of concern. Maybe it’s too big for a single bite.

    It seems incomprehensible that Pfc Manning could possibly have had access to all the stuff vomited up to WikiLeaks — or, for that matter, even a much smaller amount of it.

    Access always requires a need to know, or at least it did during my Fed career ’70s – ’90s. What has changed, relaxed, to allow that not to be the case now?

    Perhaps it’s more likely there are a number of other known players, who are shielded at this time. Then compensation in the form of immunity (or something close to that) will be granted in exchange for testimony. That way there will be only one actor, Manning, who will be subject to the consequences for all of them.

    The scenario of Manning acting alone, or even with just one or two others, just doesn’t wash. The future consequences for Manning will be more significant than the smock and confinement conditions now.

      • lsls says:

        December Wheeler dumpster…Manning…collateral video…Wheeler’s background and access…there are possible dots…Tribe resigns in December…Not suggesting Tribe had knowledge of or involved in of course, but stuff was whirling regarding WL, Manning, Wheeler, etc.

      • maa8722 says:

        Well, yes.

        Still this stuff is monitored constantly, has to be signed for, procedures are in place to detect suspicious or unusual activity. It goes on and on, or it used to. There are just too many entities which would be yanked in to closely scrutinize what happened, and there would not be a safe place for an elephant (or donkey) to hide as such in any dumpster.

        I think now the urgent, overarching need in play is for impacted chains of command to protect themselves and limit their own damage. That would entail protecting careers and organizations — a formidable errand, no? So it’s job one, and a problem separate from damage to the nation caused by divulging the raw info, by itself.

        In short, I think one single miscreant would be less damaging or embarrassing than a horde of them, no? I think that’s why we have what we see now. What do you think?

  8. arctor says:

    I read the story of the letter in the UK’s Guardian-online and looked at NYTimes website, did I miss it? Beating a dead-horse here but was this letter reported yet in our national stenography-pool, er, sorry our national media? A free press is protecting us about as much as having a constitutional law scholar and Nobel Peace prize winner for President is!

    • Evelyn says:

      I looked too and so far the letter from a couple of hundred prominent law professors condemning Manning’s treatment as immoral and unconstitutional has only been reported in the British papers — Guardian and the Telegraph.

  9. RevBev says:

    Thanks for this piece. With his stature, Tribe is always of interest imho. I am certainly interested in what he is saying here as well as a recap of the background.

  10. evernewecon says:

    $1 one vote is one thing.
    (And it’s exactly opposite from what
    Eleanor Roosevelt advocated–equality.)

    But there’re also still laws against bribery.

    There are also specially convened Party
    conventions and violations of Oaths of Office.
    Eugene McCarthy would have never split Hubert Humphrey’s
    support (and elected Richard Nixon)had he come
    to a meeting of the minds at Party headquarters.

    Also, is now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t insurance fraud?


    • pdaly says:

      That’s great. I hope more people learn about the lecture and more people learn about the number of law scholars condemning the Obama Administration’s treatment of Pfc Manning.

      I’ve been reading the pdf of Benkler’s upcoming law review article on WikiLeaks.
      Benkler has several citations of Glenn Greenwald. No doubt if Benkler reads Greenwald, he has heard of FDL.

  11. cregan says:

    Tribe does display a huge ego, but he is also right about a number of issues.

    The bigger question is “Why has Obama changed his mind?” The answer is NOT likely some mental analysis or name calling.

    I think Obama is the type of person who does what he thinks is right and best in any particular situation. So, why does he think this is best and right?

    Also, when you get down to it, Tribe cites three aspects of Manning’s treatment.

    1. solitary confinement–23 hours in cell each day
    2. checked every 5 minutes
    3. must sleep in smock each night

    Since each of these things has been applied to many prisoners over many years, it is difficult to see how Tribe gets they are unconstitutional–unless he means there are several cases pending in the courts about each one and likely to succeed. I would guess each has been litigated a number of times already and not found to be unconstitutional.

    Yes, it is agreed they are difficult conditions, mainly the first one. I don’t see how being checked every five minutes is all that difficult (unless it means being woken up every 5 minutes. But, someone looking in the window every 5 minutes doesn’t seem all that tough. Many patients in a hospital sleep in smocks every night with no damage to them.

    That leaves solitary confinement. No question constitutional for a prisoner, but in this case, the question is for someone accused and not yet convicted.

    On the other hand, maybe Tribe missed mentioning some items of confinement not covered in the article above.

    So, why does Obama think this is the right thing to do?

  12. orionATL says:

    [email protected]

    – you, and fdl, have indeed written more than any others i know, and in more meaningful depth, about manning’s mistreatment at the hands of dod

    – it should go without saying that on your weblog you can write what you damn well please

    – my comment began in my head as a quibble, nothing more, but it was written down an inarticulate quibble since i did not make clear i was criticizing the use of a headline to entice a reader, a common practice in print journalism that i detest. i am entirely confident you intended no such use since manipulation of readers is so far from your personal style and character.

    so my quibble should have gone something like this: this is a story about larry tribe’s experiences with a politician/confidence man, not about tribe’s concerns about the treatment of manning.

    it was useful for your readers, myself included, to learn of tribe’s objections to manning’s treatment.

    • RevBev says:

      Quibble aside….Manning is an important element and one that has been closely followed here. Certainly a fair presentation of something quite timely….

  13. juliania says:

    There is a theory proposed by Bernard Suzanne (can be googled) that the entire body of Plato’s dialogues concern themselves specifically with the relationship between Socrates and his beautiful but errant pupil, Alcibiades. I find the theory powerful stuff, and certainly there must be echoes of this in the kind of struggles any teacher would have coming to terms with his own responsibilities as that student takes what he has learned and applies it against all that the teacher believes in.

    We who voted for this man have a burden to bear that is similar. But if Plato could give birth to philosophy, perhaps there is a civil awareness that can be crafted out of our pygmalionism. We, together with Professor Tribe, made this man what he is. Can we now unmake him?

  14. waynec says:

    Reply to regan April 11th, 2011 at 7:52 am @ 48

    The marine guard asks PFC Manmning every 5 minutes during the night if he is alright. He must answer or there are some kind of consequences, unknown to me

  15. EdwardTeller says:

    The letter is becoming known as the Ackerman/Benkler letter, after the names of its two main authors, Bruce Ackerman, Yale Law School, and Yochai Benkler, Harvard Law School. As of early yesterday, it had about 250 co-signatories, including Tribe. They are soliciting more signatures here, and have amended the letter at that same link, to correct a couple of inaccuracies in what has probably now gone out in print in the April 28th print edition of the NYRB.

    For the record at emptywheel, here is the list as amended (295 co-signators) by Prof. Ackerman Sunday evening:

    Additional Signatories (institutional affiliation, for identification purposes only):
    Jack Balkin, Yale Law School
    Richard L. Abel, UCLA Law
    David Abrams, Harvard Law School
    Martha Ackelsberg, Smith College
    Julia Adams, Sociology, Yale University
    Kirsten Ainley, London School of Economics
    Jeffrey Alexander, Yale University
    Philip Alston, NYU School of Law
    Anne Alstott, Harvard Law School
    Elizabeth Anderson, Philosophy and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan
    Kevin Anderson, University of California
    Scott Anderson, Philosophy, University of British Columbia
    Claudia Angelos, NYU School of Law
    Donald K. Anton. Australian National University College of Law
    Joyce Appleby, History, UCLA
    Kwame Anthony Appiah, Princeton University
    Stanley Aronowitz, Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center
    Jean Maria Arrigo, PhD, social psychologist, Project on Ethics and Art in Testimony
    Reuven Avi-Yonah, University of Michigan Law
    H. Robert Baker, Georgia State University
    Katherine Beckett, University of Washington
    Duncan Bell, Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge
    Steve Berenson, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
    Michael Bertrand, UNC Chapel Hill
    Christoph Bezemek, Public Law, Vienna University of Economics and Business
    Michael J. Bosia, Political Science, Saint Michael’s College
    Bret Boyce, University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
    Rebecca M. Bratspies, CUNY School of Law
    Jason Brennan, Philosophy, Brown University
    Talbot Brewer, Philosophy, University of Virginia
    John Bronsteen, Loyola University Chicago
    Peter Brooks, Princeton University
    James Robert Brown, University of Toronto
    Sande L. Buhai,Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
    Ahmed I Bulbulia, Seton Hall Law School
    Susannah Camic, University of Wisconsin Law School
    Lauren Carasik, Western New England College School of Law
    Teri L. Caraway, University of Minnesota
    Alexander M. Capron, University of Southern California, Gould School of Law
    Michael W. Carroll, Law American University
    Marshall Carter-Tripp, Ph.D, Foreign Service Officer, retired
    Jonathan Chausovsky, Political Science, SUNY-Fredonia
    Carol Chomsky, University of Minnesota Law School
    John Clippinger, Berkman Center for Internet and Society
    Andrew Jason Cohen, Georgia State University
    Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University
    Marjorie Cohn, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
    Doug Colbert, Maryland School of Law
    Sheila Collins, William Paterson University
    Nancy Combs, William& Mary Law School
    Stephen A. Conrad, Indiana University Mauer School of Law
    Steve Cook, Philosophy, Utica College
    Robert Crawford,Arts and Sciences, University of Washington
    Thomas P. Crocker, University of South Carolina
    Jennifer Curtin, UCI School of Medicine
    Deryl D. Dantzler, Walter F. Gorge School of Law of Mercer University
    Benjamin G. Davis, University of Toledo College of Law
    Rochelle Davis, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
    Wolfgang Deckers, Richmond University, London
    Michelle M. Dempsey, Villanova University School of Law
    Wai Chee Dimock, English, Yale University
    Sinan Dogramaci, Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin
    Zayd Dohrn, Northwestern University
    Jason P. Dominguez, Texas Southern University
    Judith Donath, Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society
    Norman Dorsen, New York University School of Law
    Michael W. Doyle, International Affairs, Law and Political Science, Columbia
    Bruce T. Draine, Astrophysics, Princeton University
    Jay Driskell,History, Hood College
    Michael C. Duff, University of Wyoming College of Law
    Lisa Duggan, Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU
    Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Graduate Center,CUNY
    Stephen M. Engel, PhD, Political Science, Marquette University
    Simon Evnine, Philosophy, University of Miami
    Mark Fenster, Levin College of Law, University of Florida
    Martha Field, Harvard Law School
    Justin Fisher, Philosophy, Southern Methodist University
    William Fisher, Harvard Law School
    Joseph Fishkin, University of Texas School of Law
    Mark Fishman, Sociology, Brooklyn College
    Martin S. Flaherty, Fordham Law School
    George P. Fletcher, Columbia University, School of Law
    John Flood, Law and Sociology, University of Westminster
    Michael Forman, University of Washington Tacoma
    Bryan Frances, Philosophy, Fordham University
    Katherine Franke, Columbia Law School
    Nancy Fraser, Philosophy and Politics, New School for Social Research
    Eric M. Freedman, Hofstra Law School
    Monroe H. Freedman, Hofstra University Law School
    Kennan Ferguson, University of Wisconsin, MilWaukee
    John R. Fitzpatrick, Philosophy, University of Tennessee/Chattanooga
    A. Michael Froomkin, University of Miami School of Law
    Gerald Frug, Harvard Law School
    Louis Furmanski, University of Central Oklahoma
    James K. Galbraith, LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
    Herbert J Gans, Columbia University
    William Gardner, Pediatrics, Psychology,& Psychiatry, The Ohio State University
    Urs Gasser, Harvard Law School, Berkman Center for Internet and Society
    Julius G. Getman, University of Texas Law School
    Todd Gitlin, Columbia University
    Bob Goodin, Australian National University
    Angelina Snodgrass Godoy, Human Rights, University of Washington
    David Golove, NYU School of Law
    James R. Goetsch Jr., Philosophy, Eckerd College
    Thomas Gokey, Art and Information Studies, Syracuse University
    Robert W. Gordon, Yale Law School
    Stephen E. Gottlieb, Albany Law School
    Mark A. Graber, University of Maryland School of Law
    Jorie Graham, Harvard University
    Roger Green, Pol. Sci. and Pub. Admin., Florida Gulf Coast
    Daniel JH Greenwood, Hofstra University School of Law
    Christopher L. Griffin, Visiting, Duke Law School
    James Grimmelmann, New York Law School
    James Gronquist,Charlotte School of Law
    Jean Grossholtz, Politics, Mount Holyoke College
    Lisa Guenther, Philosophy, Vanderbilt University
    Christopher Guzelian, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
    Gillian K. Hadfield, Law, Economics, University of Southern California
    Jonathan Hafetz, Seton Hall University School of Law
    Lisa Hajjar, University of California – Santa Barbara
    Susan Hazeldean, Robert M. Cover Fellow, Yale Law School
    Dirk t. D. Held, Classics, Connecticut College
    Kevin Jon Heller, Melbourne Law School
    Lynne Henderson, UNLV–Boyd School of Law (emerita)
    Stephen Hetherington, Philosophy, University of New South Wales
    Kurt Hochenauer, University of Central Oklahoma
    Lonny Hoffman, Univ of Houston Law Center
    Michael Hopkins, MHC International Ltd
    Nathan Robert Howard, St. Andrews
    Marc Morjé Howard, Government, Georgetown University
    Kyron Huigens, Cardozo School of Law
    Alexandra Huneeus, University of Wisconsin Law School
    David Ingram, Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago
    David Isenberg, Isen.com
    Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard Kennedy School
    Christopher Jencks, Harvard Kennedy School
    Paula Johnson, Alliant International University
    Robert N. Johnson, Philosophy, University of Missouri
    Albyn C. Jones, Statistics, Reed College
    Lynne Joyrich, Modern Culture and Media, Brown University
    David Kairys, Beasley Law School
    Eileen Kaufman, Touro Law Center
    Kevin B. Kelly, Seton Hall University School of Law
    Antti Kauppinen, Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin
    Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School
    Daniel Kevles, Yale University
    Heidi Kitrosser, University of Minnesota Law School
    Gillian R. Knapp, Princeton University
    Seth F. Kreimer University of Pennsylvania Law School
    Alex Kreit, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
    Stefan H. Krieger, Hofstra University School of Law
    Mitchell Lasser, Cornell Law School
    Mark LeBar, Philosophy, Ohio University
    Brian Leiter, University of Chicago
    Mary Clare Lennon, Sociology, The Graduate Center, CUNY
    George Levine,Rutgers University
    Sanford Levinson, University of Texas Law School
    Margaret Levi, Pol. Sci., University of Washington and University of Sydney
    Tracy Lightcap, Political Science, LaGrange College
    Daniel Lipson, Political Science, SUNY New Paltz
    Stacy Litz, Drexel University
    Fiona de Londras, University College Dublin, Ireland
    John Lunstroth, University of Houston Law Center
    David Luban, Georgetown University Law Center
    Peter Ludlow, Philosophy, Northwestern University
    Cecelia Lynch, University of California
    David Lyons, Boston University
    Colin Maclay, Harvard University, Berkman Center
    Joan Mahoney, Emeritus, Wayne State University Law School
    Chibli Mallat, Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School
    Phil Malone, Harvard Law School
    Jane Mansbridge, Harvard Kennedy School
    Jeff Manza, Sociology, New York University
    Dan Markel, Florida State University
    Daniel Markovits, Yale Law School
    Richard Markovits, University of Texas Law School
    Michael R. Masinter, Nova Southeastern University
    Ruth Mason, University of Connecticut School of Law
    Rachel A. May, University of South Florida
    Jamie Mayerfeld, Political Science, University of Washington
    Diane H. Mazur, University of Florida Levin College of Law
    Jason Mazzone, Brooklyn Law School
    Jeff McMahan, Philosophy, Rutgers University
    Richard J. Meagher Jr., Randolph-Macon College
    Agustín José Menéndez, Universidad de León and University of Oslo
    Hope Metcalf, Yale Law School
    Frank I. Michelman, Harvard University
    Gary Minda, Brooklyn Law School
    John Mikhail, Georgetown University Law Center
    Gregg Miller, Political Science, University of Washington
    Eben Moglen, Columbia Law School and Software Freedom Law Center
    Immanuel Ness, Brooklyn College, City University of New York
    Charles Nesson, Harvard University
    Joel Ngugi, Law, African Studies, University of Washington
    Ralitza Nikolaeva, ISCTE Business School, Lisbon University Institute
    John Palfrey, Harvard Law School
    James Paradis, Comparative Media Studies, MIT
    Emma Perry, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Charles Pigden, University of Otago
    Adrian du Plessis, Wolfson College, Cambridge University
    Patrick S. O’Donnell, Philosophy, Santa Barbara City College
    Hans Oberdiek, Philosophy, Swarthmore College
    Duane Oldfield, Political Science, Knox College
    Michael Paris, Political Science, The College of Staten Island (CUNY)
    Philip Pettit, University Professor of Politics and Human Values, Princeton
    Frank A. Pasquale, Seton Hall Law School
    Matthew Pierce, University of North Carolina
    Charles Pigden, Philosophy, University of Otago
    Leslie Plachta, MD MPH, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
    Thomas Pogge, Yale University
    Giovanna Pompele, University of Miami
    Joel Pust, Philosophy, University of Delaware
    Ulrich K. Preuss, Law& Politics, Hertie School of Governance, Berlin
    Margaret Jane Radin, University of Michigan and emerita, Stanford University
    Aziz Rana, Cornell University Law School
    Gustav Ranis, Yale University
    Rahul Rao, School of Oriental& African Studies, University of London
    Calair Rasmussen, Affiliation: Political Science, University of Delaware
    Daniel Ray, Thomas M. Cooley Law School
    Jeff A. Redding, Saint Louis University School of Law
    C. D. C. Reeve, Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Bryan Register, Philosophy, Texas State University
    Robert B. Reich, University of California, Berkeley
    Cassandra Burke Robertson, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
    John A. Robertson, University of Texas Law School
    Corey Robin, Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center
    Clarissa Rojas, CSU Long Beach
    Kermit Roosevelt, University of Pennsylvania Law School
    Susan Rose-Ackerman, Law, Political Science, Yale University
    Norm Rosenberg, History, Macalester College
    Clifford Rosky, University of Utah
    Brad R. Roth, Poli. Sci. and Law, Wayne State University
    Barbara Katz Rothman, Sociology, City University of New York
    Bo Rothstein Political Science, University of Gothenburg
    Laura L. Rovner,University of Denver College of Law
    Donald Rutherford,Philosophy, University of California, San Diego
    Leonard Rubenstein, JD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
    Chester M. Rzadkiewicz, History, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
    DeWitt Sage, Flimmaker
    Cindy Skach, Comparative Government and Law, Oxford
    William J. Talbott, Philosophy, University of Washington
    Natsu Taylor Saito, Georgia State University College of Law
    Dean Savage, Queens College, Sociology, CUNY
    Kent D. Schenkel, New England Law
    Kim Scheppele, Princeton Univeristy
    Ben Schoenbachler, Psychiatry, University of Louisville
    Jeffrey Schnapp, Harvard University
    Kenneth Sherrill, Political Science, Hunter College
    Claire Snyder-Hall, George Mason University
    Jeffrey Selbin, Yale Law School
    Wendy Seltzer, Fellow, Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy
    Jose M. Sentmanat, Philosophy, Moreno Valley College, California
    Omnia El Shakry, History, University of California
    Scott Shapiro, Yale University
    Stephen Sheehi, Languages, Lit. and Cultures, University of South Carolina
    James Silk, Yale Law School
    Robert D. Sloane, Boston University School of Law
    Ronald C. Slye, Law, Seattle University
    Matthew Noah Smith, Philosophy, Yale University
    Stephen Samuel Smith, Political Science, Winthrop University
    John M. Stewart, Emeritus, Psychology, Northland College
    Peter G. Stillman, Vassar College
    Alec Stone Sweet, Yale Law School
    Robert N. Strassfeld, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
    Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, SUNY-Buffalo Law School
    Jeanne Theoharis, Brooklyn College of CUNY
    Frank Thompson, University of Michigan
    Matthew Titolo, West Virginia University College of Law
    Massimo de la Torre, University of Hull Law School
    John Torpey, CUNY Graduate Center
    Vilna Bashi Treitler, Black& Hispanic Studies, Baruch College, City
    Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard University
    David M. Trubek, University of Wisconsin (emeritus)
    Robert L. Tsai, American University, Washington College of Law
    Peter Vallentyne, Philosophy, University of Missouri
    Joan Vogel, Vermont Law School
    Paul Voice, Philosophy, Bennington College
    Victor Wallis,Berklee College of Music
    David Watkins, Political Science, University of Dayton
    Jonathan Weinberg, Wayne State University
    Henry Weinstein, Law, Literary Journalism, University of California
    Margaret Weir, Political Science,University of California, Berkeley
    Christina E. Wells, University of Missouri School of Law
    Danielle Wenner, Rice University
    Bryan H. Wildenthal, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
    Langdon Winner,Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Naomi Wolf, author
    Lauris Wren, Hofstra Law School
    Elizabeth Wurtzel, Attorney and author
    Betty Yorburg, Emerita, City University of New York
    Benjamin S. Yost, Philosophy, Providence College
    Jonathan Zasloff, UCLA School of Law
    Michael J. Zimmer, Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago
    Lee Zimmerman, English, Hofstra University
    Mary Marsh Zulack, Columbia Law School

    • lsls says:

      Excellent!! I especially like these sentences in the letter:

      President Obama was once a professor of constitutional law, and entered the national stage as an eloquent moral leader. The question now, however, is whether his conduct as Commander in Chief meets fundamental standards of decency.

    • bluewombat says:

      Like wow. Very impressive.

      I’ve signed the Michael Whitney petition and called my Congresswoman and senators on this; hope others will do likewise.

      • EdwardTeller says:

        I hope Bruce Ackerman keeps on adding legal scholars, academics and other people concerned with the rule of law to this impressive list.

        I’ve signed the Michael Whitney petition and called my Congresswoman and senators on this; hope others will do likewise.

        Former Alaska US Sen. Mike Gravel is in Alaska this week, and I asked him to reinforce my (and co-signers’) request to current US Sen. Mark Begich, to investigate Manning’s treatment as part of his duties as a member of the Senate Armed services Committee.

        Here’s my Saturday post, including Mike Gravel’s video plea to Sen. Begich.

        I’ll be delivering a packet including the links to Mike’s appeal, to Begich’s office this afternoon.

        Keep on this, friends.

        • bluewombat says:

          Former Alaska US Sen. Mike Gravel is in Alaska this week, and I asked him to reinforce my (and co-signers’) request to current US Sen. Mark Begich, to investigate Manning’s treatment as part of his duties as a member of the Senate Armed services Committee

          Ah, this is good. I’ll see if any of my Congresscritters are on Armed Services.

    • RevBev says:

      That is completely no sleep at all; I had not heard that level of detail. How can that be allowed medically?

  16. VMT says:

    I don’t think Obama really cares much what Tribe thinks. Right now he is asking, “Who is John Galt?”