Schoenbrod, David 1942–
Schoenbrod, David 1942–
Born August 18, 1942, in Chicago, IL; son of Robert D. and Charlotte Schoenbrod (both advertising executives). Education: Yale College, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1963; Oxford University, B.Phil., 1965; Yale Law School, LL.B., 1968.
Lawyer, educator, and writer. Admitted to law practice in New York State, United States Supreme Court, Court of Appeals for the First, Second, and District of Columbia Circuits, and Federal District Court of the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Judge Spottswood Robinson III, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, law clerk, 1968-69; Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration/D&S Corp, director of program development, 1969-71; Association of the Bar of the City of New York, staff attorney, special committee on electric power and the environment, 1971-72; Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc, senior staff attorney, 1972-79; Yale Law School, visiting lecturer, 1977; New York University School of Law, associate professor, 1979-83; New York Law School, associate professor, 1984-85, professor then trustee professor of law, 1985—. Also visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC.
National Environmental Task Force and Panel of Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association.
(With others) Electricity and the Environment: A Report of the Special Committee on Electric Power and the Environment, West Publishing (St. Paul, MN), 1972.
(With others) A New Direction in Transit, New York City Department of City Planning (New York, NY), 1978.
(With others) Remedies: Public and Private, West Publishing (St. Paul, MN), 1990, 3rd edition, 2002.
Saving Our Environment from Washington: How Congress Grabs Power, Shirks Responsibility, and Shortchanges the People, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2005.
Contributor of articles on energy and natural resources regulation, environmental law, and administrative law to professional journals, including Minnesota Law Review, American Economic Review, and California Law Review. Contributor of columns to newspapers, including New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
David Schoenbrod is a pioneer in the field of environmental law and has been a leader in environmental issues concerning the law and justice, first taking on big business and then turning his attention to the U.S. Congress evading accountability to voters. His 1993 book, Power without Responsibility: How Congress Abuses the People through Delegation, received widespread acclaim and is considered the genesis for the 1996 Congressional Review of Agency Rule Making Act. The book presents Shoenbrod's case that Congress's process for making law is as damaging to the United States as unchecked deficit spending. He writes that both the president and Congress generally fail to make laws for efficient governing but rather give bureaucrats the power to make laws through agency regulations. In the author's analysis, this allows Congress and the president to take credit for laws but then pass the blame to bureaucrats when the laws do not work. Michigan Law Review contributor Marci A. Hamilton noted that the book "goes a long way toward vigorously reintroducing the subject of legislative responsibility into the discourse on representation." Writing in the Political Science Quarterly, Joseph Cooper commented: "This author makes a persuasive case for changing thinking and practice with respect to the delegation of legislative power. The analysis is cogent and insightful along many dimensions."
Schoenbrod collaborated with Ross Sandler for his book Democracy by Decree: What Happens When Courts Run Government. In this title, the authors explain how schools, welfare, agencies, and a variety of other state and local institutions that play a vital role in citizens' lives have come to be controlled by attorneys and judges rather than by elected officials, such as governors and mayors. They explore why this control has resulted in less effective service and offer advice on how to restore control of these programs to elected officials who are accountable to the citizens. Ronald D. Rotunda, writing in the Cato Journal, referred to Democracy by Decree as a "useful volume that is, frankly, a fun read." Noting that "one gets the impression from the book that the passion behind the authors' mission grows out of their personal experiences," Susan Poser went on to write in the Michigan Law Review: "Democracy by Decree is an interesting, informative, and well-written book. Sandler and Schoenbrod struggle valiantly with one of the most difficult issues in our constitutional democracy—reconciling individual rights with the public interest in the context of federal-state competition for political authority."
According to Political Science Quarterly contributor Denise Scheberle, Saving Our Environment from Washington: How Congress Grabs Power, Shirks Responsibility, and Shortchanges the People "builds an argument for returning control over many areas of environmental protection to state and local governments, and away from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)." In his book, the author uses a series of anecdotes from his own career to reveal how the EPA has become an agency that, under both Democrats and Republicans, delays good rules and imposes bad one. He details how it has become such a bloated and remote bureaucracy that it actually hurts rather than helps society. Jonathan H. Adler wrote in the Independent Review that the author "makes a powerful case that more attention to the constitutional values of federalism and legislative accountability would improve the environmental protection we have today." A contributor to the Harvard Law Review commented that the book "reinvigorates the regulatory debate by introducing a nuanced conception of federalism to a discipline long dominated by federal agency rulemaking."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 1, 2005, Rebecca Maksel, review of Saving Our Environment from Washington: How Congress Grabs Power, Shirks Responsibility, and Shortchanges the People, p. 1553.
Cato Journal, spring-summer, 2003, Ronald D. Rotunda, review of Democracy by Decree: What Happens When Courts Run Government, p. 155.
Constitutional Commentary, spring, 2003, Mark V. Tushnet, review of Democracy by Decree, p. 189.
Harvard Law Review, June, 2005, review of Saving Our Environment from Washington, p. 2929.
Independent Review, summer, 2006, Jonathan H. Adler, review of Saving Our Environment from Washington, p. 139.
Michigan Law Review, May, 1995, Marci A. Hamilton, review of Power without Responsibility: How Congress Abuses the People through Delegation, p. 1539; May, 2004, Susan Poser, review of Democracy by Decree, p. 1307.
National Law Journal, April 10, 2006, Scott J. Slavick, review of Saving Our Environment from Washington.
National Review, August 8, 2005, G. Tracy Mehan III, "Clearing the Air," review of Saving Our Environment from Washington, p. 50.
Political Science Quarterly, winter, 1994, Joseph Cooper, review of Power without Responsibility, p. 909; winter, 2003, Susan Rose-Ackerman, review of Democracy by Decree, p. 679; spring, 2006, Denise Scheberle, review of Saving Our Environment from Washington, p. 162.
Public Administration Review, July-August, 1995, Louis Fisher, review of Power without Responsibility, p. 384.
Southern Economic Journal, October, 1995, Llewellyn H. Rockwell, review of Power without Responsibility, p. 522.
Cato Institute Web site, http://www.cato.org/ (April 10, 2008), brief profile of author.
New York Law School Web site, http://www.nyls.edu/ (April 10, 2008), faculty profile of author.