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: Watching The Watchmen

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Michael Flynn case illustrates the need to restrain federal prosecutors.

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Law Talk With Epstein & Yoo, #134: “A Race To The Bottom”

interview with Richard A. Epstein, John Yoovia Law Talk With Epstein, Senik & Yoo
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Michael Flynn, Title IX, The COVID Reopening, and a Supreme Court roundup.

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Michael Flynn’s Political Enemies

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, May 11, 2020

Liberal commentators have a weak case against Attorney General William Barr’s motion to set aside the guilty plea.

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The Libertarian: COVID In The Courts?

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, May 7, 2020

Should Congress protect business from Coronavirus lawsuits?

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Richard Epstein: "Keep The Numbers A Little Bit Higher, Keep The Lockdown A Little Bit Longer." Part 1 Of 2

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, May 7, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideasarticle "Let’s Go Local With Coronavirus Control."

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Richard Epstein: "Keep The Numbers A Little Bit Higher, Keep The Lockdown A Little Bit Longer." Part 2 Of 2

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, May 7, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideasarticle "Let’s Go Local With Coronavirus Control."

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Monday, May 4, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The Curious Case Of 'Gary B'."

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Monday, May 4, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The Curious Case Of 'Gary B'."

Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and Commentary

Let’s Go Local With Coronavirus Control

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, May 4, 2020

State governors are in a poor position to micromanage the economy.

In the News

The Dubious Morality Of Modern Administrative Law

featuring Richard A. Epsteinvia National Review
Thursday, April 30, 2020

Modern administrative law has been the subject of intense and protracted intellectual debate, from legal theorists to such high-profile judicial confirmations as those conducted for Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. On one side, defenders of limited government argue that the growth of the administrative state threatens traditional ideas of private property, freedom of contract, and limited government.

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