Richard A. Epstein

Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
American Academy of Arts and Sciences

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


Trump At The G-20 -- Perils And Prospects

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Fox News
Thursday, July 6, 2017

The G-20 meetings in Hamburg present a dangerous challenge to Donald Trump as he tries to both burnish his own reputation and improve the overall global financial and social situation. To meet the rest of the world head on, he has to control the demons inside himself, by avoiding the extemporaneous gaffes that all too often have upended his substantive agenda.

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The Supreme Court’s Playground Scrape

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 3, 2017

The Free Exercise and the Establishment clauses of the Constitution can be at odds.


Memo To GOP: It’s Too Late For Full-Scale ObamaCare Repeal

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Hill
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Right now the Republican program to repeal and replace ObamaCare looks as though it will be effectively thwarted by dissent with the party’s own ranks.

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Doctrinal Tangle At SCOTUS

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 26, 2017

All substantive constitutional protections are entitled to equal respect. 

Analysis and Commentary

Introduction To Common Law

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Federalist Society
Saturday, June 17, 2017

Learn common law with Prof. Richard Epstein, the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.


Mnuchin V. Perry's Disastrous Damage Rules

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forbes
Thursday, June 15, 2017

The plaintiff class is right to ask the D.C Circuit to start over its confused and destructive damage rules.

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The Cagey Mr. Comey

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 12, 2017

His own questionable actions might warrant an obstruction of justice charge.

The Supreme Court

Will The Supreme Court Clean Up Takings Law In Murr V. Wisconsin?

by Richard A. Epstein
Wednesday, June 7, 2017

This article examines Murr v. Wisconsin, which will be the Supreme Court’s latest addition to its takings jurisprudence for the 2016–17 term. The precise question in the case asks how the “parcel-as-a-whole” test of Penn Central Transportation Co. v. City of New York applies to two contiguous parcels that for some limited period of time came under common ownership by different routes. 

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Containing Climate Change Hysteria

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 5, 2017

Trump’s exit from Paris was less than graceful, but his position is sound. 

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Forget The Paris Accords

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas (Hoover Institution)
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The U.S. should withdraw from an agreement based in bad science—and bad economics.