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 Ability Of Markets

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, September 9, 2019

Disabled workers benefit more from a strong economy than from the ADA.

Featured

Symposium: Title VII Did Not And Does Not Extend To Sexual Orientation Or Gender Identity — In 1964 Or Today

by Richard A. Epsteinvia SCOTUS Blog
Friday, September 6, 2019

Political and legal discourse has changed much since 1964, when sex was added, almost as an afterthought, to the list of forbidden grounds of discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. What seemed risqué in 1964 seems positively old guard in 2019. So one looming battle of the current Supreme Court term is whether Title VII covers the sexual-orientation claims raised in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia and the gender-identity claims raised in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC. The short answer is: It doesn’t.

Interviews

Richard Epstein: The Cause Of The US Slowdown, & What Is To Be Done? (Part 2)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Trump’s Trade Travesty."

Interviews

Richard Epstein: The Cause Of The US Slowdown, & What Is To Be Done? (Part 1)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, September 5, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Trump’s Trade Travesty."

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The Libertarian: Britain After Brexit

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Tuesday, September 3, 2019

How will the UK weather an exit from the European Union?

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Trump’s Trade Travesty

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, September 2, 2019

The President should not blame “weak companies” or the Fed for declining economic growth.

Interviews

Richard Epstein: Obama Checked On Campus: (Part 01): & What Is To Be Done?

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Farewell To Title IX’s Kangaroo Courts."

Interviews

Richard Epstein: Obama Checked On Campus: (Part 02): & What Is To Be Done?

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Farewell To Title IX’s Kangaroo Courts."

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The Libertarian: The Corporate Responsibility Canard

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, August 29, 2019

Serving your stockholders doesn’t mean exploiting everyone else.

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What Is The Purpose Of A Corporation?

by Richard A. Epstein quoting Edward Paul Lazear, Milton Friedmanvia Defining Ideas
Monday, August 26, 2019

The Business Roundtable errs in prioritizing social responsibility over shareholder value.

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