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 Gorsuch Legal Alchemy

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 22, 2020

 Standard textual analysis doesn’t support the meaning he gives to “sex” in Title VII.

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The Libertarian: Justice Delayed

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, June 18, 2020

The Supreme Court chooses not to hear three vital cases.

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Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Beware Of Tort Liability For COVID Cases."

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Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Beware Of Tort Liability For COVID Cases."

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Law Talk, With Epstein & Yoo, #135: "Give Me The Epstein!”

interview with Richard A. Epstein, John Yoovia Law Talk With Epstein, Senik & Yoo
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Policing, qualified immunity, SCOTUS’s LGBT discrimination case, the controversy over the John Bolton book, and a novel exercise in intellectual property law.

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Beware Of Tort Liability For COVID Cases

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 15, 2020

Reputational and regulatory sanctions are both cheaper and more effective.

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Richard Epstein: Lancet Gate Illustrates Science Distorted By Anti-Trump Partisanship & What Is To Be Done?

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, June 11, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The Lancet’s COVID Fiasco."

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Richard Epstein: WHO Mis-Announces And Then Un-Announces Asymptomatic Infectiousness "Very Rare," & What Is To Be Done

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, June 11, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses the WHO's announcement and then un-announcement that asymptomatic COVID-19 infectiousness is "very rare."

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The Libertarian: Law, Policing, And Criminal Justice Reform

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Distinguishing between the promising and perilous in criminal justice reform.

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The Lancet’s COVID Fiasco

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 8, 2020

A premature dismissal of hydroxychloroquine could well cost lives.

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