Paul L. Caron

Monday, August 22, 2016

The IRS Scandal, Day 1201: Larry Tribe Says 'IRS Is Engaged In Unconstitutional Discrimination Against Conservative Groups And Must Be Halted'—'Inexcusable Abuse'

IRS Logo 2Overlawrered: Tweet of the Day: Laurence Tribe on IRS Ideological Targeting, by Walter Olson:

Yesterday Harvard law professor Larry Tribe sent out a tweet brusquely dismissing the IRS targeting episode as a debunked non-scandal. I and others promptly took issue with him, and pointed him toward the August 5 D.C. Circuit opinion laying out the scandal’s genuineness. (I also referenced my Ricochet article summarizing the decision and citing the Inspector General report from Treasury.)

Within an hour or two Prof. Tribe sent this tweet very graciously conceding error, along with several similar.


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I'm astonished that Publius actually admitted IRS malfeasance is a serious issue. Only took about 3 years. He ususally puts scandal in quotes, but scandal perfectly describes the pattern of behavior:

Scandal (n): Loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety.

If the IRS hierarchy really isn't guilty of violating federal law, even though they clearly have IMO, officials have certainly been acting like uncooperative defendents running down the clock on the statute of limitations...

Posted by: MM | Aug 22, 2016 6:56:49 PM

@Chris: Gee, who could have seen that coming? Tribe has learned that it's not wise to wander off the reservation.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Aug 22, 2016 5:52:55 PM

Strangely, all the above tweets seem to have disappeared from Tribe's twitter feed.

Posted by: Chris | Aug 22, 2016 1:18:43 PM

Serious is as serious does. Tweets are inherently simply brief remarks, with optional links. The advantage of a tweet is that it is immediately available to a broad audience, is brought to the attention of those following the author, and may be easily disseminated by those interested. There is nothing inherent to the form that mandates that it be about celebrity scandals or SJW indignation; it can be as easily used for better purposes, and was in this case.

Posted by: jaed | Aug 22, 2016 9:30:22 AM

Mr. MM: Wow. We agree on something.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Aug 22, 2016 9:10:30 AM

Where's Publius Novus to tell us it's all a nontroversy?

Posted by: Elmer Stoup | Aug 22, 2016 9:01:59 AM

AM - reading through Tribe's twitter page and I am embarrassed for him. It is terrible. When I was in law school, I was under the impression he was a serious constitutional scholar.

Posted by: anymouse | Aug 22, 2016 8:51:42 AM

This isn't the first time Tribe has authoritatively opined on a subject he hasn't bothered to investigate. Nor is it the first time he admitted to being wrong, once confronted with the evidence. I guess that's admirable, but you'd think he would learn not to do that.

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Aug 22, 2016 8:41:51 AM

Note to Prof. Tribe and other high profile individuals: Serious issues should warrant serious statements, and tweeting isn't serious on any level!

Posted by: MM | Aug 22, 2016 7:45:28 AM

He's just trying to divert attention from his legal ethics breach last week!

Posted by: Brian | Aug 22, 2016 7:08:23 AM

BZ professor. He should also recognize that crimes were thereby committed. But likes taxes, outside his expertise.

Posted by: Diogenes | Aug 22, 2016 4:27:07 AM