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Lisa Heinzerling

Affiliated Scholar

Lisa Heinzerling is a professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center and the vice president of the Center for Progressive Regulation. Professor Heinzerling has taught and written in the areas of environmental law, risk regulation, natural resources law, administrative law, and torts for ten years.

Professor Heinzerling has served as counsel in several cases challenging the constitutionality of programs and procedures relating to health, safety, and environmental protection. Most prominently, she served as counsel of record in the U.S. Supreme Court for Massachusetts and New Jersey in Whitman v. American Trucking Assns., in which the Court rejected a lower court’s decision holding the central program of the federal Clean Air Act unconstitutional. Professor Heinzerling also has testified on regulatory reform and other matters in Congress, and has participated as a peer reviewer of OMB’s annual report on costs and benefits of federal regulation (in 2001) and of EPA’s report on assessing the benefits of safe drinking water regulations (in 2000).

Professor Heinzerling has worked in all three branches of government. She began her legal career as a law clerk, first for Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and then for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., on the United States Supreme Court. Professor Heinzerling also served as an assistant attorney general in the Environmental Protection Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Just after coming to Georgetown, she served as special counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning the nomination hearings of Stephen Breyer. In between serving as a law clerk and as an assistant attorney general, Heinzerling practiced fair housing law for a small public interest firm in Chicago, as one of the first class of Skadden public interest fellows. In addition to teaching at Georgetown, Professor Heinzerling has taught as a visiting professor at the Harvard and Yale law schools.

Major Works:


  • The Regulatory And Administrative State: Materials, Cases, Comments (With Mark Tushnet). Oxford University Press, Forthcoming.
  • Priceless: Human Health, The Environment, And The Limits Of The Market. The New Press, 2004.
  • Environmental Law And Policy: Nature, Law, And Society (With Zygmunt Plater Et Al.). Aspen, 2004.


  • "The Accidental Environmentalist: Judge Posner on Catastrophic Thinking." Georgetown Law Journal. Vol. 94. 2006.
  • "Doubting Daubert." Center for Progressive Reform. September 2005.
  • Heinzerling, Lisa and Steinzor, Rena I., "A Perfect Storm: Mercury and the Bush Administration, Part II." Environmental Law Reporter. Vol. 34, p. 10485-10497. June 2004.
  • Ackerman, Frank; Heinzerling, Lisa; and Massey, Rachel. "Applying Cost-Benefit Analysis to Past Decisions: Was Protecting the Environment Ever a Good Idea?" Center for Progressive Regulation. July 2004.

Appearances: Testified before Congress, NPR