Professor of Law, New York Law School
A pioneer in the field of environmental law, David Schoenbrod was at the forefront of environmental justice, taking on big business. Now, his concern has turned to government officials and public interest advocates exercising government power in ways that evade accountability to voters.
An adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, a Washington, D.C. libertarian think tank, Professor Schoenbrod frequently contributes to the editorial pages of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other newspapers and periodicals. Professor Schoenbrod asserts in his scholarship that Congress has in appropriately shifted its responsibility for law-making powers to the regulatory agencies and courts.
As staff attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) during the 1970s, he successfully led the charge to get lead out of gasoline, dramatically reducing the amount of the brain-damaging contaminant in the air. After seven years with the NRDC, Professor Schoenbrod felt the need to write about the trends he had been finding in practice.
“Many of the environmental statutes that were supposed to be helping people were charades,” he says. “I found I enjoyed the give and take of the classroom, as well as the opportunity to explore in written form the ideas that I had been developing for some time.”
His widely-praised 1993 book, Power Without Responsibility: How Congress Abuses the People Through Delegation, published by Yale University Press, was the genesis for the 1996 Congressional Review of Agency Rule Making Act. In January of 2003, Yale will release a new book, Democracy by Decree: What Happens When Courts Run Government. The book was written by Professor Schoenbrod and his litigation partner at the Natural Resources Defense Council and present colleague at New York Law School, Professor Ross Sandler. Professor Schoenbrod’s other books include, Remedies: Public and Private (West, 2002), now in its third edition. He has also published articles in scholarly journals on environmental law, remedies, and the law and politics of regulation.
He began in law practice as Director of Program Development of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, which had been established by Robert Kennedy. While there, he devised a plan to improve the area’s chronically underserved inner-city.
He then was a staff attorney for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York Committee on Electric Power and the Environment before heading to the NRDC. His academic career includes positions at Yale Law School (1977) and New York University School of Law (1979-82), in addition to his current positions at New York Law School and the Cato Institute.
At the NRDC, Professor Schoenbrod served as codirector of the Council’s Project on Urban Transportation with Professor Sandler. They cowrote “A New Direction in Transit,” a plan to renovate the City’s subway system that was endorsed by all the City’s major newspaper editorial boards and ultimately adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
As a member of the American Tree Farmers’ Association, he has raised and tended trees at his country home in the Adirondacks for many years. He is also an avid gardener, music lover, and art collector.
Remedies: Public & Private. 2nd ed. (West, 1996) (with A. MacBeth, D.I. Levine & D. Jung).
Power Without Responsibility: How Congress Abuses the People Through Delegation. (Yale University Press, 1993); paperback edition (Yale University Press, 1995).
Remedies: Public & Private. (West, 1990) (with A. MacBeth, D.I. Levine & D. Jung) (Annual Supplements, 1992-1994).
Teacher`s Manual to Accompany Cases & Materials on Remedies: Public & Private. (West, 1990) (with A. MacBeth, D.I. Levine & D. Jung).
A New Direction in Transit: A Report to Mayor Edward I. Koch from Robert F. Wagner, Jr., Chairman, City Planning Commission. (City of New York, 1978) (with R.A. Chudd & R. Sandler).