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 (2014). 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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The Libertarian Podcast: It’s Not Our Default: Massive Spending And The National Debt

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Friday, October 1, 2021

As Congress debates spending bills that total trillions of dollars, the debt ceiling looms in just a few weeks.

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A Bill That Costs Too Much, Does Too Little

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, September 27, 2021

Biden’s “infrastructure,” a fantasy mix of taxes and subsidies, is a poor second to systematic deregulation.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, September 24, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, September 24, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Creeping Coercion Under The “Stakeholder Banner.”"

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Law Talk: Ask The Professors!

interview with Richard A. Epstein, Troy Senik, John Yoovia Law Talk With Epstein, Senik & Yoo
Friday, September 24, 2021

Abortion controversies, the immigration debate, and audience questions.

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The Libertarian Podcast: Does A Universal Basic Income Make Sense?

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, September 23, 2021

Will the federal government ever figure out how to help the poor without breaking the bank?

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Biden’s Latest Firings Are Unjustified

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The president has no power to remove prior presidents’ appointees from key advisory boards.

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The Libertarian Podcast: Biden’s Plan To Tax The Rich

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, September 16, 2021

What kind of tax increases are in President Biden’s spending bill and how will the economy respond?

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Creeping Coercion Under The “Stakeholder” Banner

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, September 13, 2021

Corporations are pressured to ignore Milton Friedman’s wisdom in favor of dubious political and social goals.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, September 10, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his memories from the attacks on 9/11.

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