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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Nike And Kaepernick

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The broader implications of the company’s decision.

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In the News

Famed Legal Scholar Richard Epstein To Lead Protect Our Parks’ Appeal

featuring Richard A. Epsteinvia Hyde Park Herald
Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Protect Our Parks has has accepted University of Chicago law professor Richard Epstein’s pro bono offer to lead its appeal against the city and Chicago Parks District after the federal district court threw out their case to prevent construction of the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) in Jackson Park.

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The Libertarian: A Law Professor’s Fourth Of July

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The intellectual history of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

In the News

Misapplication Of Trade Secrets Law Could Doom Innovation

quoting Richard A. Epsteinvia SE Texas Record
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Protecting intellectual property is a critical component of our nation’s founding and is essential to strengthening our economy, however flawed jury awards disconnected from underlying legal doctrine could have disastrous effects on collaboration and innovation. The United States Constitution allows Congress to write laws granting “authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries”.  

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A Quiet Revolution In Property Rights

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, July 1, 2019

The Supreme Court recently gave landowners a powerful tool to upend state power.

Interviews

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

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Saturday, June 29, 2019

(Part 1) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Race Madness At Oberlin College."

Interviews

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

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The John Batchelor Show
Saturday, June 29, 2019

(Part 2) Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein discusses his Defining Ideas article "Race Madness At Oberlin College."

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The Libertarian: Understanding Takings

interview with Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Friday, June 28, 2019

A new Supreme Court decision enhances protection against government appropriation of private property.

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Race Madness At Oberlin College

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, June 24, 2019

The behavior of the college and its students represents everything wrong with the modern civil rights movement.  

Analysis and Commentary

Bad Trump Still Battling Good Trump

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Las Vegas Review Journal
Saturday, June 22, 2019

From the time he first stepped onto the national stage, Donald Trump’s good and bad alter egos have battled to control his economic policy. The good Donald follows the principles of small government, and he has a lot to crow about.

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