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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In the News

Trump's Front-runners For The Supreme Court Create Concern For Employee, Consumer Advocates

quoting Richard A. Epsteinvia NBC News
Monday, September 21, 2020

“Trump’s judicial nominations have typically narrowed consumer protections, restricted the rights of employees and unions, while expanding the rights of corporations and curtailing business regulation,” said one law professor.

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Trump And McConnell, Beware

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, September 21, 2020

Filling a Supreme Court vacancy now is not worth an all-out confirmation fight—and whatever consequences may follow.

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The Libertarian: Debating The Administrative State

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Saturday, September 19, 2020

A new book from Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule launches a misguided defense of “the fourth branch of government”.

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 1)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, September 17, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein defends Hoover Institution fellow Scott Atlas.

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 2)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, September 17, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein defends Hoover Institution fellow Scott Atlas.

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The Libertarian: The Trouble With Unions

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, September 10, 2020

Why a new push to revive and reform organized labor is misguided.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 1)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, September 10, 2020

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Law and Liberty article "American Workers Do Not Need Unions."

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 2)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, September 10, 2020

(Part 2) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Law and Liberty article "American Workers Do Not Need Unions."

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Reasonable Disagreements: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

interview with Richard A. Epstein, Adam J. Whitevia Reasonable Disagreements
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

In today's (admittedly bleak) episode, Richard and Adam consider proposals to give the Federal Reserve even broader powers; and problems in the run-up to the presidential election; and problems that might happen after votes are cast; and President Trump's call to defund "anarchic" cities. Adam looks for the sunny side, but he doesn't find it.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The American Meltdown."

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