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.

Filter By:



Recent Commentary


Pardon Me, Said The President To Himself

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Wall Street Journal
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

[Subscription Required] President Trump shocked the nation Monday by announcing via Twitter: “I have the absolute right to PARDON myself.” Many of his liberal critics deny he holds this power. But their disdain has led to faulty constitutional analysis.

Analysis and Commentary

Symposium: The Worst Form Of Judicial Minimalism — Masterpiece Cakeshop Deserved A Full Vindication For Its Claims Of Religious Liberty And Free Speech

by Richard A. Epsteinvia SCOTUSblog
Monday, June 4, 2018

Today, in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Supreme Court issued a narrow decision that commanded the support of seven justices. The main opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who in 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges held that the equal protection clause protects the right of same-sex couples to marry. 

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

A Frontal Assault On Social Media

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 4, 2018

The European Union’s GDPR is both redundant and disastrous.

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

SCOTUS Gets Arbitration Right

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Class action litigation poses a major threat to the continued vitality of labor markets.

this is an image
Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

The Israel-Palestine Standoff

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, May 21, 2018

The Israelis were right to defend themselves as a two-state solution grows ever more unlikely.

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

Trump Is Right On Iran

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, May 14, 2018

The United States is no longer “leading from behind” in the Middle East.

Analysis and Commentary

Sitaraman’s Mistaken Case For The Middle-Class Constitution

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Boston University Law Review
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Vanderbilt Law School Professor Ganesh Sitaraman, a close friend and former advisor of Senator Elizabeth Warren, does not pull his punches.  By his title, The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens Our Republic, Sitaraman proclaims two themes that dominate his book. He writes, “the number one threat to American constitutional government today is the collapse of the middle class . . . Not the polarization of the two political parties.” 

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

Senseless In Seattle

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, May 7, 2018

Progressive policies have divided a city that once was an epicenter of growth.

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

Miscarriage Of Justice At The SEC

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, April 30, 2018

The abusive procedures of the administrative state curtail the liberties of American citizens.

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

The False Allure Of Libertarian Paternalism

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, April 23, 2018

We should disregard behavioral economics for more traditional models of decision-making.