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

Reasonable Disagreements
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Reasonable Disagreements: Coronavirus, The Constitution, And The CFPB

interview with Richard A. Epstein, Adam J. Whitevia Reasonable Disagreements
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Government powers in emergencies and the Supreme Court’s recent oral arguments in Seila Law v. CFPB.

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Playing Politics With Coronavirus

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, March 9, 2020

Short-term crises are bad times to advance discredited progressive reforms.

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The Libertarian: The Supreme Court And The Separation Of Powers

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Wednesday, March 4, 2020

A new case tests the reach of the administrative state.

Interviews

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

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The Revenge Of The Paris Agreement."

Interviews

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

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

(Part 2) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The Revenge Of The Paris Agreement."

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The Revenge Of The Paris Agreement

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, March 2, 2020

A British court uses global warming fears to block an airport expansion.

Interviews

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

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Sunday, March 1, 2020

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The New York Wrecking Ball."

Interviews

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

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Sunday, March 1, 2020

(Part 2) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "The New York Wrecking Ball."

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The Libertarian: Coronavirus, Pandemics, And The Law

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Thursday, February 27, 2020

The legal landscape of a public health crisis.

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The New York Wrecking Ball

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Ordering a developer to lop off 20 floors from a new residential tower showcases the many problems of the City’s real estate market. 

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