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: Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, September 9, 2021

Does President Biden have the constitutional authority to mandate vaccines for employees in private businesses?

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, September 3, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "What Drives The California Recall Election."

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The Libertarian Podcast: Did Texas Just Find A New Way To Ban Abortion?

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, September 2, 2021

A new Texas abortion law comes with an unusual enforcement mechanism that is designed to flummox the Supreme Court.

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What Drives The California Recall Election

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 30, 2021

Regardless of the vote’s outcome, the governor should reverse the one-party policies that drag down the state’s economy.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, August 27, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The Dire Consequences Of Afghanistan."

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The Libertarian Podcast: Afghanistan And The Death Of Pax Americana

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, August 26, 2021

The withdrawal from Afghanistan is going poorly. Was there a better way?

Interviews

Richard Epstein: Climate Change Living At The Margins (Part 01)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, August 26, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Global Warming: How Not To Respond."

Interviews

Richard Epstein: Climate Change Living At The Margins (Part 02)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, August 26, 2021

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Global Warming: How Not To Respond."

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The Dire Consequences Of Afghanistan

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 23, 2021

Biden’s hasty pullout, in defiance of military advice and strategic patience, has raised the odds of both local and global conflict.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 1)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, August 20, 2021

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Human Tragedy On The Texas Border." Part 2 of the interview is available here.

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