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

International SecurityFeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

Foolish On Climate Change

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 22, 2019

Andrew Cuomo doesn’t get the science or economics of his own policies.  

Featured

Recollections On The Moon Walk

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Las Vegas Review Journal
Saturday, July 20, 2019

On July 20, 1969, in Boppard, Germany, I heard the news — der Adler ist gelandet. As Neil Armstrong reported, the Eagle had indeed landed on the moon, with one small step for man and one large leap for mankind. Here are two takeaways from this brief personal anecdote.

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A Heavy, Quite Visible Hand

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Manipulated wages, housing shortages, rents set by government diktat—distortions abound. The market is a much better mechanism than government for matching supply and demand.

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The Audacity of Nope

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

It takes a special kind of chutzpah to compare the outrageous goals and impossible price tag of the Green New Deal with the components of the original New Deal.

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Drug Pricing Made Easy

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 15, 2019

Regulating prices won’t help consumers—but easing entry restrictions will.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 1 Of 2)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Nike And Kaepernick."

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The Libertarian: Trump, Twitter, And The First Amendment

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Were federal courts right to limit the president’s control of his social media account?

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 2 Of 2)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, July 10, 2019

(Part 2) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Nike And Kaepernick."

Richard Epstein, Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow and a University of Chicago law professor
In the News

Richard Epstein To Lead Challenge Of Obama Center In Jackson Park

featuring Richard A. Epsteinvia The Chicago Maroon
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

University of Chicago emeritus law professor Richard Epstein has jumped from the sidelines to the center of the legal battle challenging the construction of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) in Jackson Park. After writing an amicus brief for a federal lawsuit filed by environmental activist group Protect Our Parks against the City and the Chicago Park District for their sanctioning of the Center’s construction in Jackson Park, Epstein now will be co-counseling the appeal of the suit.

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Nike And Kaepernick

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The broader implications of the company’s decision.

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