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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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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The Libertarian: American Unrest

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Protesters fill the streets in opposition to “institutional racism.” But what’s the evidence it exists?

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The American Meltdown

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 31, 2020

The anti-racism trope about police is wrong and dangerous.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, August 28, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Assessing the Presidential Candidates."

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Friday, August 28, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Assessing the Presidential Candidates."

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Law Talk With Epstein & Yoo #137: “Epstein, Yoo, & You”

interview with Richard A. Epstein, John Yoovia Law Talk With Epstein, Senik & Yoo
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The Law Talk professors take listener questions.

Policy InsightsFeatured

Free Speech

by Peter Berkowitz, Richard A. Epstein, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, David Davenport, Daniel Heilvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, August 25, 2020

While many Americans take free speech for granted, the tradition is far from universal. Many developed nations restrict speech that is deemed hurtful or offensive. And in the United States, there is increasing sentiment that some speech is not worth protecting. Is it time to reconsider the nation’s free-speech orthodoxy?

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Reasonable Disagreements: Administrative States: From TikTok, To Law & Order, To Covid-19

interview with Richard A. Epstein, Adam J. Whitevia Reasonable Disagreements
Monday, August 24, 2020

From TikTok, to Law & Order, to Covid-19.

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Assessing The Presidential Candidates

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 24, 2020

We should not let his character flaws distract from his policy wins. 

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The Libertarian: Golden State Delusions

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, August 20, 2020

Rolling blackouts, unhappy ridesharing firms, and a confiscatory new tax proposal point to California’s precipitous decline.

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