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

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by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, February 19, 2018

One state’s effort to save the Affordable Care Act.

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Steele Dossier Intrigue

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, February 12, 2018

The trail leading back to the Democratic establishment looks uncomfortably hot.


Polish Backslide On Holocaust Is Morally, Legally Troubling

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Hill
Friday, February 9, 2018

In 1905, Spanish poet and philosopher George Santayana wisely remarked: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." In 2018, it appears that the Polish government has suffered an incurable memory lapse now that it has enacted legislation that aims to punish — with up to three-year prison sentences — those who commit the unspeakable crime of using the three words: "Polish death camps," or, even worse, suggest "publicly and against the facts" that Poland had collaborated with the Nazis in the extermination campaign that left millions of Jewish people dead.

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A Comeuppance For Obama’s Presidential Center

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, February 5, 2018

Chicago’s South Siders post a Do-Not-Enter sign in Jackson Park. 

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The Trump Growth Machine

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, January 29, 2018

Avoiding Keynesian landmines could make prosperity the new normal.

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A Clean Deal on DACA

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 26, 2018

Here's a creative way to fix the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program: sign it into law.

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Single-payer Delusion Syndrome

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Hoover Digest
Friday, January 26, 2018

Zealots like Bernie Sanders suffer from an acute case of central planning. The only cure is deregulation.

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What “The Post” Gets Wrong

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, January 22, 2018

Will the law on the Pentagon Papers really serve us well in cases like Edward Snowden?

Analysis and Commentary

Global Warming And Bond Offerings

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forbes
Monday, January 22, 2018

How public nuisance law suits have trapped city governments in a web of their own making.

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Is Global Warming A Public Nuisance?

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, January 15, 2018

Cities file law suits against oil companies for ‘harming the environment.’