Richard A. Epstein

Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Biography: 

Richard A. Epstein, the Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University Law School, and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

In 2011, Epstein was a recipient of the Bradley Prize for outstanding achievement. In 2005, the College of William & Mary School of Law awarded him the Brigham-Kanner Property Rights Prize.

Epstein researches and writes in a broad range of constitutional, economic, historical, and philosophical subjects. He has taught administrative law, antitrust law, communications law, constitutional law, corporation criminal law, employment discrimination law, environmental law, food and drug law, health law, labor law, Roman law, real estate development and finance, and individual and corporate taxation.

He edited the Journal of Legal Studies (1981–91) and the Journal of Law and Economics (1991–2001).

Epstein’s most recent publication is The Classical Liberal Constitution: The Uncertain Quest for Limited Government (2013). Other books include Design for Liberty: Private Property, Public Administration, and the Rule of Law (2011); The Case against the Employee Free Choice Act (Hoover Institution Press, 2009); Supreme Neglect: How to Revive the Constitutional Protection for Private Property (2008); How the Progressives Rewrote the Constitution (2006); Overdose (2006); and Free Markets under Siege: Cartels, Politics, and Social Welfare (Hoover Institution Press, 2005).

He received a BA degree in philosophy summa cum laude from Columbia in 1964; a BA degree in law with first-class honors from Oxford University in 1966; and an LLB degree cum laude, from the Yale Law School in 1968. Upon graduation he joined the faculty at the University of Southern California, where he taught until 1972. In 1972, he visited the University of Chicago and became a regular member of the faculty the following year.

He has been a senior fellow at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics since 1984 and was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1985. He has been a Hoover fellow since 2000.

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Recent Commentary

The Libertarian: Audio
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The Libertarian: “Markets and Minimum Wages”

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Is Seattle’s $15-an-Hour Experiment Doomed to Fail?

The Libertarian: Audio
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The Libertarian: “Unsung Heroes in American Legal History”

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, July 24, 2014

Richard Epstein takes listeners on a guided tour through the ranks of some of the most underappreciated justices in the history of the Supreme Court.

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Obama's LGBT Blunder

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 21, 2014
The President’s recent executive order represents a dangerous expansion of government power.
The Libertarian: Audio
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LightSquared, the FCC, and Property Rights

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, July 17, 2014

How Washington Put a Stop to a New Broadband Network.

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When Government Violates Contracts

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 14, 2014

A new case reveals how weak property rights, government misconduct, and special interests lead to major social losses.

Podcast: LightSquared, the FCC, and Property Rights
The Libertarian: Audio
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Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Parsing the Most Controversial Decision of This Year’s Supreme Court Session.

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Hobby Lobby vs. the Contraceptive Mandate

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 7, 2014

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority should have been more principled in its defense of religious liberty.

Podcast: Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court
The Libertarian: Audio
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Intellectual Property, Public Sentiment, and the Washington Redskins

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, July 3, 2014

How Much Longer Will the NFL’s Most Controversial Name Last?

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Wrong on Abortion Picketing

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 30, 2014
The Supreme Court elevates intellectual sophistication above common sense.
immigration reform
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The Peregrine Podcast: “Finding an Immigration Equilibrium” with Richard Epstein

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Peregrine
Thursday, June 26, 2014

Richard Epstein argues that immigration reformers should focus on criteria for admitting new citizens, not trying to establish quotas.

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