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

Analysis and Commentary

The Taking of Port Chester

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forbes
Monday, March 24, 2008

This is America....

In the News

Audio/Video from the Cato Institute: Epstein on Supreme Neglect

by Richard A. Epsteinvia University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog
Monday, March 17, 2008

On March 6, Richard Epstein discussed his new book, Supreme Neglect: How to Revive Constitutional Protection for Private Property during an event at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C...

In the News

SCOTUScast 2-22-08 featuring Richard Epstein

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Federalist Society
Friday, February 22, 2008

On February 20, 2008 the Supreme Court decided two cases about federal preemption: Riegel v. Medtronic and Rowe v. New Hampshire...

Analysis and Commentary

The virtues of anti-trust surrender

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Financial Times
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

As usual, I write not to disagree with Tom Hazlett, but to push the argument in a somewhat different direction...

In the News

The Property Rights Movement and Intellectual Property

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Regulation (Cato Institute)
Thursday, January 17, 2008

The fall issue of Regulation contains a provocative attempt by University of California, Berkeley law professor Peter Menell to discredit what he calls the property rights movement (prm) for its supposed “absolutist” stance on intellectual property (“Intellectual Property and the Property Rights Movement”)...

Analysis and Commentary

Legal analogies and metaphors in a high tech Age

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Financial Times
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Political disputes over the so-called new media – chiefly network communications and intellectual property – seem to invite a high-tech analysis to reach sound policy solutions...

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Free Markets Under Siege: Cartels, Politics, and Social Welfare

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Books by Hoover Fellows
Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Drawing on his extensive knowledge of history, law, and economics, Richard Epstein examines how best to regulate the interface between market choice and government intervention—and find a middle way between socialism and libertarianism. In the process, he provides and illuminating analysis of some of the ways that special interest groups, with the help of sympathetic politicians, have been able to manipulate free markets in their favor.

Analysis and Commentary

A dangerous one-two punch

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Financial Times
Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Right now, patent holders everywhere are warily watching the Patent Reform Act of 2007 (PRA) as it winds its way, perhaps inexorably, through the US Congress...

Don't Trust Me

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 19, 2007

How we guard our guardians. By Richard A. Epstein.

Analysis and Commentary

Primary and Secondary Liability Under Securities Law: The Stoneridge Investment Saga

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Point of Law
Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Today, October 9th, the United States Supreme Court is hearing oral argument in one of the most important securities law cases in decades, Stoneridge Investment Partners, Inc. v. Scientific-Atlanta...

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