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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Biden’s Tax-And-Spend Excesses

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, April 29, 2021

The new administration is putting us on a road towards higher debt and lower growth.

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Law Talk: Guns, Cheerleaders, And Polygamy

interview with Richard A. Epstein, John Yoo, Troy Senikvia Law Talk With Epstein, Senik & Yoo
Thursday, April 29, 2021

A roundup of new cases before the Supreme Court.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Equality Act Takes The Road To Coercion." Part 2 of the interview is available here.

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Biden Tax Agenda Seeks To Turn Back The “Rising Tide”

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, April 26, 2021

Whether as a funding mechanism or a matter of fairness, soaring capital gains rates will fail.

College Isn’t Free—Nor Should It Be

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Hoover Digest
Monday, April 26, 2021
Wiping out student debt would involve staggering costs and unfair taxation. Worse, loan forgiveness would violate the principle of making degrees pay for themselves.
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Libertarian: Anti-Discrimination Laws Vs. Freedom Of Association

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, April 22, 2021

A proposed law expanding the definition of sex discrimination threatens religious liberty.

Interviews

Richard Epstein On The John Batchelor Show (Part 1)

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses the following article "Obama Presidential Center faces new lawsuit the same day as pre-construction work in Jackson Park begins." Part 2 of the interview is available here.

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Equality Act Takes The Road To Coercion

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, April 19, 2021

The proposed law is a profound deviation from our foundational values of equality and freedom for all.

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Libertarian: Amazon And Organized Labor

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, April 15, 2021

Why even a boost from the Biden Administration couldn’t save the union effort in Alabama.

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Libertarian: Infrastructure Delusions

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Biden Administration attempts to redefine the entire progressive agenda as ‘infrastructure.’

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