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 (2013). 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 FTC Unfriends Facebook

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, April 29, 2019

The regulatory body goes overboard in seeking to fine the social media company $5 billion over privacy concerns.  

Interviews

Law Talk With Richard Epstein And John Yoo: Parking Strictly Enforced

interview with Richard A. Epstein, John Yoovia Ricochet
Friday, April 26, 2019

Hoover Institution fellows Richard Epstein and John Yoo discuss whether the Mueller Report is a vindication of President Trump or the predicate for impeachment; whether the White House can resist congressional subpoenas; whether the congressional Democrats (or a wily coalition of state governments) can force the president to release his tax returns; whether the Supreme Court will break new ground on gay and trans discrimination; and whether chalking tires is unconstitutional.

Interviews

Richard Epstein: Mueller Fails The Obstruction Detail Of "Corruptly" (Part 01)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Esptein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Barr Trumps Mueller."

Interviews

Richard Epstein: Mueller Fails The Obstruction Detail Of "Corruptly" (Part 02)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Esptein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Barr Trumps Mueller."

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The Libertarian: The Mueller Report And Its Aftermath

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Partisans on both sides of the Russia controversy are grievously in error.

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Inconvenient Billionaires

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

We can never keep money out of politics. But there is a solution to the problem of hugely expensive campaigns: eliminate the spoils of office.

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Scorched Earth

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Hoover Digest
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Wildfires last year destroyed thousands of homes and cost dozens of lives, and California’s environmental policies bear some of the responsibility. The Golden State needs less red tape and smarter land management.

Interviews

Richard Epstein: Capitalists Blaming Capitalism. 1 Of 2

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Does Capitalism Cause Social Decay?"

Interviews

Richard Epstein: Capitalists Blaming Capitalism. 2 Of 2

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

(Part 2) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Does Capitalism Cause Social Decay?"

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Barr Trumps Mueller

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, April 22, 2019

The battle over whether the President engaged in obstruction of justice.

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