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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Beware Of The Big-Government Right

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Sunday, December 9, 2018

Oren Cass’s new book contains a flawed game plan for America.

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Trump V. General Motors

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 3, 2018

By publicly attacking any private firm, the president is abusing his power.

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‘The Curse Of Bigness’ Review: Revisiting The Gilded Age

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Wall Street Journal
Sunday, December 2, 2018

Are Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon akin to the dominant “trusts” of the late 19th century—and thus deserving of antitrust action? Richard A. Epstein reviews “The Curse of Bigness” by Tim Wu.

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Billionaires For President

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, November 26, 2018

Our current campaign finance laws encourage self-funded presidential campaigns.

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California’s Forest Fire Tragedy

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

Better land use laws can undo the unfortunate consequences of overreaching environmental regulations.

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Trump’s Clumsy Mueller Gambit

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

The President must appoint an independent Attorney General to bring the Russia investigation to a conclusion.

immigration reform
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The Shaky Case For Birthright Citizenship

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

The Fourteenth Amendment is more complicated than it appears.

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Only a Mirage

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 29, 2018

A two-state solution was always going to require Palestinians and Israelis to trust each other. The latest Gaza violence has rendered such trust all but impossible.

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Baking Bad

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Hoover Digest
Monday, October 29, 2018

Half-baked reasoning in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case left the most important question unanswered: How far does freedom of expression extend?

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The Problem With Soft Socialism

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

The President's Council of Economic Advisors warns of the perils of collective ownership. 

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