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 (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.

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Recent Commentary

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The Sad State of the Union

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

Obama’s weak foreign and meddlesome domestic policy are a dangerous combination. 

Analysis and Commentary

Let The Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger Go Through; Déjà vu All Over Again

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Forbes
Sunday, January 25, 2015

Right now, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is charged with deciding whether or not to approve the proposed $38 billion merger between two separate companies, Comcast, which operates cable, Internet and telephone operations, and Time Warner Cable (TWC). I have no involvement in this transaction, whatsoever.

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Obamacare's Slow Death?

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

Republicans want to incrementally scale back the law but that will be more difficult than they realize. 

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Stopping Another Charlie Hebdo

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, January 12, 2015

The West must once more embrace a Pax Americana by meeting force with even greater force.

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The Elusive Two-State Solution

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, January 5, 2015

Israeli–Palestinian relations have stalemated to today’s intolerable status quo. 

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Making Sense of The Torture Report

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 15, 2014

The Senate report, for all its flaws, reveals unpleasant truths about America’s interrogation policies.

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The Way Forward On Police Reform

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 8, 2014

Bitter opposition between the police and protestors reduces the prospects of meaningful changes. 

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The Libertarian Podcast – “Understanding Ferguson”

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Exploring the controversies around the grand jury’s decision in Missouri.

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Ferguson and the Rule of Law

by Richard A. Epsteinvia Defining Ideas
Monday, December 1, 2014

Activists and critics are making an explosive situation even worse.

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The Libertarian Podcast – “Climate Change, China, and International Law”

by Richard A. Epsteinvia The Libertarian
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Parsing the US-China agreement on carbon emissions.

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