The Senate has just confirmed Chris Schroeder as head of the Office of Legal Policy by a 72-24 vote. He was apparently controversial because he had spoken favorably of empathy as a judicial virtue — the opposing position apparently favors the appointment of androids to the bench, such as Star Trek: New Generation’s Commander Data. Alas, even on the show, Data is a one-off, and no one knows how to build additional androids.
Actually, Schroeder is a long-time environmental law scholar at Duke, in addition to his work on constitutional issues. Empathy does not seem to interfere with rigorous analysis in his scholarship.
Schroeder is Charles S. Murphy Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy Studies, and director of the Program in Public Law. His publications include a leading environmental law casebook, Environmental Regulation: Law, Science and Policy (6th Edition, 2008), Presidential Power Stories (with Curtis A. Bradley, 2008), A New Progressive Agenda for Public Health and the Environment (2005), a project of the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR), co-edited with Rena Steinzor. He has served on National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine committees to evaluate the use of human intentional dosing studies by EPA and the adequacy of the U.S. drug safety system. Last but not least, he’s one of Berkeley Law’s most distinguished alumni.