Richard A. Epstein

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

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

Don't Strangle Uber!

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 3, 2015
Consumers love the sharing economy, so why are regulators trying to ruin it? 
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Hillary Clinton’s Upside Down Tax Reforms

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 27, 2015

She fundamentally misunderstands how capital and labor markets function.

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Obama’s Disastrous Iran Deal

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 20, 2015

It will increase the risk of war and terrorism in the Middle East. 

Podcast: The Libertarian: “The Nuclear Deal With Iran”
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The Folly Of "Fair" Housing

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 13, 2015

The federal government’s new affirmative action program will wreak havoc on local markets. 

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Raisin' A Raw Deal

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 6, 2015

A recent Supreme Court decision missed the chance to kill a corrupt New Deal farm program.

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Aig V. Frbny In The Crosshairs: It's Time To Rethink Fannie And Freddie

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forbes
Monday, July 6, 2015

The recent decision in the U.S. Federal Court of Claims by Judge Thomas Wheeler is the latest, but by no means last, decision on the highly contentious claims that Starr International has brought against the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), charging the FRBNY with conducting an illegal bailout of AIG in September 2008.

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Wanted: American Exceptionalism In Foreign Affairs

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Washington Times
Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Obama administration’s single achievement in foreign affairs policy is its wholesale retreat from American exceptionalism. We no longer believe in Pax Americana, rather, we spend more time confessing our sins, and less using our strength.

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Hard Questions On Same-Sex Marriage

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 29, 2015

Opposition to gay unions has been swept away. Will religious rights go next?

Podcast: The Libertarian: “Gay Marriage And The Supreme Court”
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Kelo V. City Of New London Ten Years Later

by Richard A. Epsteinvia National Review
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

There has been some progress, but much is left to do.

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Hillary Clinton VS. Free Trade

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 22, 2015

Republicans and President Obama want an agreement that labor and environmental groups unwisely reject. 

Podcast: The Libertarian: “The Fight Over Free Trade”