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

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

We Need More Guns on the Ground

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 7, 2015

If off-duty police and military personnel carried concealed weapons, everyone would be safer.

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

Does Woodrow Wilson Belong At Princeton?

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, November 30, 2015

Like Washington, Madison, and Jefferson, he is a flawed but vital historical figure.

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

Obama’s ISIS Paralysis

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, November 23, 2015

The safety of America, its allies, and the refugees depends on a ground offensive in the Middle East.

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

Spineless Leadership at Yale

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, November 16, 2015

Great universities must stand up to campus radicals who hurl thoughtless accusations of insensitivity.

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

The Common Law in the Supreme Court

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Resolving modern disputes requires a mastery of principles too often thought of as obsolete. 
Blank Section (Placeholder)Analysis and CommentaryBlank Section (Placeholder)

Abortion and the Supreme Court

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, November 2, 2015

The rational basis test should not undo the constitutional rights protected in Roe and Casey.

Blank Section (Placeholder)FeaturedBlank Section (Placeholder)

Is Obamacare Sustainable?

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, October 26, 2015

The marketplace’s uncertain response to the ACA suggests the program could unravel.


A Bellicose Vestager’s High-Stakes Game

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Politico
Saturday, October 24, 2015

Margrethe Vestager sent shockwaves through the business community in both the European Union and elsewhere with her bold announcement this week that Luxembourg and the Netherlands were under a duty to claw back previous tax breaks that they had given to Fiat and Starbucks respectively.

Blank Section (Placeholder)Blank Section (Placeholder)Featured

Our Fickle Fed

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, October 19, 2015

An anemic labor market is the new norm and changing interest rates won’t do anything to alter that. 

Blank Section (Placeholder)

Kelo, Ten Years On

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Hoover Digest
Friday, October 16, 2015

The notorious eminent-domain ruling still provokes outrage and legal confusion.