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: Parsing The Biden Agenda

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, April 16, 2020

The former vice president’s many legal and policy shortcomings.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 2 Of 2)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, April 14, 2020

(Part 2) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses originalism vs the living constitution.

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Joe Biden’s Constitutionalism

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, April 13, 2020

His progressive values blind him to the importance of property rights.

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The Libertarian: Against ‘Common Good Constitutionalism'

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Adrian Vermeule’s vision for American law is a recipe for disaster.

Interviews

Richard Epstein: Viral Menace And Civil Liberties

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Federalist Society
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses COVID-19 and civil liberties.

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The Problem With “Common Good Constitutionalism”

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, April 6, 2020
The case against "common-good constitutionalism."
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Coronavirus Perspective—Revised

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, April 6, 2020

The evidence does not support our panicked inferences.

Reasonable Disagreements
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Reasonable Disagreements: Coronavirus And An Essay That Went Viral

interview with Richard A. Epstein, Adam J. Whitevia Reasonable Disagreements
Thursday, April 2, 2020

The coronavirus outbreak, and the costs and benefits of the government’s response.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 1 Of 2)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The Grim Costs Of Total Lockdowns."

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 2 Of 2)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

(Part 2) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The Grim Costs Of Total Lockdowns."

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