Richard A. Epstein

Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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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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...

Analysis and Commentary

Public Use and Zoning Intertwined

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Yale Politic
Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Many important cases before the United States Supreme fail to excite the popular imagination...

In the News

Cambridge v. Chicago: An Answer To Dr. Arnold Relman's New Republic Review of Overdose

by Richard A. Epstein with Milton Friedmanvia Point of Law
Wednesday, August 22, 2007

In a recent issue of the New Republic, Arnold Relman, a former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, offered a most unflattering review of my recent book, Overdose: How Excessive Government Regulation Stifles Pharmaceutical Innovation (Yale University Press, 2006)...

Analysis and Commentary

Two minds on injunctive relief

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Financial Times
Wednesday, August 15, 2007

On August 6 2007 the Bush administration decided to hold firm with the decision of the International Trade Commission in the long-standing Broadcom v Qualcomm dispute...

In the News

Epstein CBI: Intuition, Custom and Protocol

by Richard A. Epsteinvia University of Chicago Law School
Monday, July 30, 2007

It's been a while since we brought you a podcast, so here goes...

Analysis and Commentary

The Problem With Presidential Signing Statements

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Cato Institute
Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Recently, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter, held a hearing about "presidential signing statements." ...

Analysis and Commentary

It’s Time To Strip Public Unions Of Their Monopoly Power

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forward
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

This past term, in Davenport v. Washington Educational Association, a unanimous Supreme Court rebuffed a union claim that its rights to freedom of speech were violated by a Washington state referendum which provided that unions could not use mandatory “agency shop fees” to influence elections or to operate political committees unless those payouts were “affirmatively authorized by the individual.” ...