BOSTON, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- A health reason is the only reason constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe is leaving his U.S. Justice Department post and returning to Boston, the liberal said.
Tribe said the recurrence of a benign brain tumor that causes facial seizures is why he is abandoning his leadership role in the Justice's Department new unit that seeks to help people who cannot afford lawyers, The Boston Globe reported Monday.
Even though he was in the post for only nine months, Tribe said he was happy with the job that allowed him to use his stature within legal circles and his connections to influential people to highlight a crucial but frequently neglected problem.
"This was by far the most satisfying and rewarding work I have ever done," he told the Globe in an e-mail. "Any suggestion that I wanted a different job is way off the mark. This was the perfect job for me."
Tribe said will be treated at Massachusetts General Hospital and then resume teaching next fall at Harvard Law School in Cambridge.
His quick departure and low-key work with the Obama administration caught some colleagues by surprise, given one of Tribe's students was President Obama, the Globe said.
"He deserved better," said Alan Dishwater, a Tribe associate at Harvard. "He would have been terrific adviser to the president. ... He was, after all, one of the president's mentors. He worked diligently during the (2008 presidential) campaign. I think it would have been in the president's interest to put him in an advisory position."