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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A Climate Change Emergency?

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, October 7, 2019

There is simply no evidence of an impending climate emergency.

Interviews

Best Of Richard Epstein: Socialism Was Weak Then And Is Weak Now. 1 Of 2.

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Sunday, October 6, 2019

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The Intellectual Poverty Of The New Socialists."

Interviews

Best Of Richard Epstein: Socialism Was Weak Then And Is Weak Now. 2 Of 2.

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Sunday, October 6, 2019

(Part 2) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The Intellectual Poverty Of The New Socialists."

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show: Impeachment And Senate Trial: 1 Of 2

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, October 4, 2019

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "A Ludicrous Impeachment Charge."

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show: Impeachment And Senate Trial: 2 Of 2

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, October 4, 2019
(Part 2) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "A Ludicrous Impeachment Charge."
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Reasonable Disagreements: Impeachment, And What Trump Meant

interview with Richard A. Epstein, Adam J. Whitevia Reasonable Disagreements
Thursday, October 3, 2019

President Trump, Ukraine, the Bidens, and impeachment.

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The Libertarian: Impeachment Revisited

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, October 3, 2019

The latest news on the impeachment front looks bad ... for Democrats.

In the News

Coerced Egalitarianism Isn’t Fair At All

mentioning Richard A. Epsteinvia Independent Institute
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Equality sounds great, but is the coercive pursuit of equality routinely leading to inequality—or worse things, like systematic injustice and abuse? Could the modern romance with egalitarianism be a destructive flirtation?

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A Ludicrous Impeachment Charge

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Sunday, September 29, 2019

The Democrats' grievances against Trump should be resolved on election day.

Analysis and Commentary

Real Recession Worry Should Involve Progressive Economic Policies

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Las Vegas Review Journal
Saturday, September 28, 2019

Conventional wisdom holds that the outcome of presidential elections turns on the state of the economy. Thus far, notwithstanding some conspicuous ups and downs, the Trump administration should reap the benefits of a positive economic performance. Nonetheless, a faction of observers thinks a major recession is in the wings. Its expected arrival date is next year, just in time to wreak havoc in the 2020 election. 

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