A podcast series features the inimitable Richard Epstein offering his unique perspective on national developments in public policy and the law. Tune in each week to hear Epstein’s take on breaking news stories.

Recovery and Resilience in a Pandemic
Apr 1 • 19 min
How to mitigate the economic fallout from Coronavirus.
Law, Economics, and Coronavirus
Mar 19 • 23 min
Are the policy tools being used to combat the pandemic overkill?
Coping with Coronavirus
Mar 12 • 18 min
Can public policy ease the strain from the pandemic?
The Supreme Court and the Separation of Powers
Mar 4 • 26 min
A new case tests the reach of the administrative state..
Coronavirus, Pandemics, and the Law
Feb 27 • 18 min
Richard Epstein describes the legal dimensions of coping with Coronavirus: whether cities can resist hosting quarantined patients, the scope of federal power to restrict movement, and concerns about excessive reliance on Chinese supply chains for…
Roger Stone, Bill Barr, and the DOJ Controversy
Feb 20 • 22 min
Was Donald Trump wrong to sound off on the Roger Stone trial? Is Attorney General William Barr hopelessly compromised? What are the limits of presidential intervention in the Justice Department? Richard Epstein answers these questions and more in the…
State of the Unions
Feb 13 • 23 min
Richard Epstein explains why a decline in union membership is a positive development for the American economy, why public-sector unions are intrinsically corrosive, and why conservative populists’ enthusiasm for reviving organized labor are misguided.
School Choice and the Supreme Court
Feb 7 • 19 min
Richard Epstein analyzes a case out of Montana that may have significant implications for parents’ ability to send their children to private schools.
AB 5 and the End of Freelancers?
Jan 24 • 29 min
Richard Epstein examines a new California law that is imperiling the livelihoods of many of the Golden State’s independent contractors and considers how challenges to the legislation may fare in the courts.
Iran, War Powers, and the Constitution
Jan 9 • 26 min
Richard Epstein examines the legal controversies around the Trump Administration’s attack on Iranian leadership: Was it an ‘assassination’? How much can Congress constrain the president’s ability to act in such situations? Is this a situation where…
Best and Worst of the 2010s
Dec 19, 2019 • 23 min
Richard Epstein analyzes the most promising — and disturbing — intellectual trends of the 2010s.
California Burning
Dec 11, 2019 • 21 min
Richard Epstein considers all the ways California policymakers are compounding the damage from the state’s wildfires — from a misplaced emphasis on global warming to new regulations that will damage the market for home insurance.
The China Quandary
Dec 4, 2019 • 21 min
Richard Epstein considers how the U.S. should deal with China in light of the country’s internal human rights abuses and its increasingly aggressive assertions in Hong Kong.
Against ‘Common Good Capitalism’
Nov 26, 2019 • 24 min
Richard Epstein reacts to Marco Rubio’s proposal for a ‘Common Good Capitalism’ that would upend the relationship between workers and employers.
Crime & Punishment & Politics
Nov 19, 2019 • 20 min
Richard Epstein looks at a wave of progressive reforms being embraced by Democratic presidential candidates and big city district attorneys, including decriminalizing quality-of-life crimes, eliminating cash bail, and sending fewer people to prison. He…
DACA in the Dock
Nov 14, 2019 • 22 min
Richard Epstein analyzes the question currently before the Supreme Court: is the Trump Administration within its rights to undo President Obama’s protections for children brought into the country illegally? What are the limits of unilateral executive…
Confronting Your Impeacher?
Nov 7, 2019 • 24 min
Richard Epstein examines the argument that the Sixth Amendment’s “confrontation clause” will compel the Ukraine whistleblower to reveal his or her identity — and be cross-examined by President Trump’s team.
Moving Left on Energy
Oct 31, 2019 • 21 min
Green energy policies at the state level are starting to have an impact — in all the wrong ways. From pipeline bans in New York to mandatory blackouts in California, The consequences are dire. And now progressives are looking to take similar policies…
Failed (Administrative) State
Oct 23, 2019 • 24 min
Richard Epstein previews his new book, “The Dubious Morality of the Modern Administrative State,” chronicling how the post-New Deal expansion of power within the executive branch has threatened the rule of law and the separation of powers.
The Many Plans of Elizabeth Warren
Oct 18, 2019 • 24 min
In a scathing review, Richard Epstein parses the policy proposals at the center of Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign.
The Ongoing Impeachment Saga
Oct 11, 2019 • 18 min
Richard Epstein responds to the latest developments in the House’s impeachment inquiry, including a detailed breakdown of the White House’s argument that it can refuse cooperation.
Impeachment Revisited
Oct 3, 2019 • 22 min
Richard Epstein reacts to the latest news in the impeachment saga surrounding President Trump.
Impeachment And Trump’s Ukrainian Transcript
Sep 25, 2019 • 18 min
Richard Epstein provides a forceful response to the question of whether President Trump’s alleged pressuring of the Ukrainian government provide grounds for impeachment.
The Beauty of Roman Law
Sep 17, 2019 • 21 min
Richard Epstein fans know that, when it comes to legal analysis, all roads lead to Rome. For years we’ve been ribbing Richard about his propensity to analyze current legal disputes through the prism of Roman law. Now we’ve finally buckled to the pressure…
The Electoral College and the Republican Sensibility
Sep 10, 2019 • 21 min
A growing number of Democratic presidential candidates are calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. In this episode, Richard Epstein explains what drove the Founders to construct this complex system for picking presidents; warns of the…
Britain After Brexit
Sep 3, 2019 • 18 min
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson attempts to get Brexit across the finish line, many MPs are complaining that he’s violating constitutional norms. In this episode, Richard Epstein considers those criticisms; weighs the cases for and against a departure…
The Corporate Responsibility Canard
Aug 29, 2019 • 21 min
A growing chorus of activists claim that American corporations are too focused on the bottom line — and not sufficiently dedicated to improving the broader society. Even some figures from the business community have begun to call for corporations to move…
The Specter of Recession
Aug 22, 2019 • 17 min
With signs of a possible recession on the horizon, Richard Epstein considers some of the purported causes and proposed solutions. Is President Trump right that the Federal Reserve needs to be more accommodating? Are the disruptions from the trade war with…
Dealing with Mass Shootings
Aug 15, 2019 • 23 min
Richard Epstein analyzes the multitude of Democratic gun control proposals in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings, proposes an alternative strategy for dealing with mass gun violence, and weighs the merits of proposed “red flag” laws.
The Case Against Medicare For All
Aug 8, 2019 • 19 min
Richard Epstein describes the catastrophic consequences that single-payer healthcare will have for both the economy and the medical profession.
Land Use and the Little Guy
Jul 31, 2019 • 19 min
Richard Epstein uses new cases from Chicago and San Diego — in both of which he is serving as counsel — to illustrate how government land use regulations often serve the desires of powerful interests while harming everyday citizens.
The Moon — 50 Years On
Jul 25, 2019 • 20 min
Richard Epstein shares his memories of the moon landing and reflects on what NASA’s history says about the capabilities — and limits — of the federal government.
Remembering Justice Stevens
Jul 19, 2019 • 26 min
Richard Epstein looks back on the career of the late Justice John Paul Stevens, reviewing some of his most consequential judicial decisions.
Trump, Twitter, and the First Amendment
Jul 9, 2019 • 20 min
Richard Epstein analyzes a recent Second Circuit decision that President Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking Twitter followers.
A Law Professor’s Fourth of July
Jul 3, 2019 • 26 min
Richard Epstein provides a thorough analysis of the intellectual history of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Understanding Takings
Jun 28, 2019 • 27 min
Richard Epstein provides an in-depth history of takings law, examining the protections against government appropriation of private property. Along the way he considers the recent Supreme Court ruling in Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, which…
A Crisis of Liberalism?
Jun 18, 2019 • 19 min
A new strain of conservative intellectuals think an embrace of free-market economics should take a backseat to a more communitarian approach. At the same time, an energized group of progressives wants to dramatically expand the reach of the federal…
Break Up Big Tech?
Jun 13, 2019 • 22 min
Richard Epstein explains the parameters of antitrust law — and why the efforts to apply it to Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon are misguided.
Trump, Trade, and China
May 22, 2019 • 20 min
Richard Epstein considers whether Donald Trump has correctly assessed the threat from Chinese trade practices, analyzes whether widespread tariff increases are an effective tool to combat them, and explains why he reluctantly prefers Trump’s economic…
Vaccination, Religious Liberty, and Public Health
May 15, 2019 • 23 min
Richard Epstein examines the difficult legal and philosophical questions that emerge when widespread opt-outs from vaccination threaten herd immunity.
Russia Redux
May 9, 2019 • 25 min
Richard Epstein breaks down the fight between the Justice Department and the House over the Mueller Report, providing a history of executive privilege (what it is, what it isn’t, and where it came from), an examination of what it really means for Congress…
Showdown on Pennsylvania Avenue
May 3, 2019 • 21 min
As congressional Democrats accuse Attorney General William Barr of deliberate deception and Trump Administration officials refuse to honor congressional subpoenas, the executive and legislative branches find themselves on a collision course.
The Mueller Report and its Aftermath
Apr 25, 2019 • 18 min
Richard Epstein examines the controversies attending the Mueller Report and finds few heroes amidst the partisan squabbling.
The Reparations Debate
Apr 10, 2019 • 15 min
Richard Epstein considers the practical and legal difficulties around setting up reparations payments, and explores alternatives that may be more effective in fostering black mobility.
God and Money at Yale
Apr 4, 2019 • 20 min
Richard Epstein analyzes a controversial new policy at the Yale Law School that would withhold financial support from students who work with “discriminatory” institutions — a category that may include large numbers of religious organizations.
The Mueller Report
Mar 27, 2019 • 17 min
Richard Epstein parses the conclusions of the Mueller report, the implications for the Trump Administration, and whether the investigation justified the resulting political dislocations.
In Defense of the Electoral College
Mar 22, 2019 • 20 min
Richard Epstein explains how the Electoral College has morphed from the Founding Fathers’ intent — but why it is still the best way to pick a president.
Anti-Semitism on the Left
Mar 15, 2019 • 27 min
Richard Epstein grapples with a new wave of anti-semitism on the left, and explains why progressive notions of ‘tolerance’ often undermine pluralism.
Rent Control, Housing, and Economics
Mar 7, 2019 • 22 min
Richard Epstein looks at the resurgent popularity of rent control, explains the factors driving high housing prices in some of America’s largest metropolitan areas, and explains the economic, legal, and regulatory possibilities for bringing costs down.
Green Book, Race, and Politics
Mar 1, 2019 • 26 min
Richard Epstein uses the controversy over Green Book’s best picture win to discuss how racial tension in America has become completely unmoored from the reality on the ground.
The Green New Deal
Feb 14, 2019 • 26 min
Richard Epstein dismantles the Green New Deal’s assertions about climate change, agriculture, labor, diversity, and transportation.
The Rule of Law and Other People’s Money
Feb 12, 2019 • 39 min
Hoover Institution fellows Richard Epstein and Adam White discuss Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call for an unprecedented “wealth tax,” and the constitutional problems that it raises. They also discuss the Supreme Court’s upcoming case on judicial…
The New Progressive Agenda
Feb 7, 2019 • 27 min
Richard Epstein looks at the policy ideas coming from potential Democratic presidential contenders, including a wealth tax, Medicare-for-all, the Green New Deal, a ban on share buybacks, and more.
Harold Demsetz and the Legacy of the Chicago School
Jan 29, 2019 • 20 min
Richard Epstein commemorates the passing of Harold Demsetz and explains the enduring influence that he and other figures that emerged from the University of Chicago have had on public policy.
Teacher Unions, Strikes, and Public Education
Jan 24, 2019 • 19 min
Richard Epstein uses the recent strike in the L.A. Unified School District to explain the ways in which teacher unions often impede meaningful education reform.
Emergency Powers and the Presidency
Jan 10, 2019 • 17 min
Richard Epstein examines legal and historical evidence to determine whether President Trump’s could really build a border wall by declaring a national emergency.
Obamacare, Back in the Courts
Dec 20, 2018 • 24 min
Richard Epstein examines a recent ruling out of Texas declaring that the entirety of Obamacare is unconstitutional.
Europe in Turmoil
Dec 14, 2018 • 16 min
Richard Epstein considers a trio of European controversies — the UK’s struggle with Brexit, the fuel tax protests in France, and the backlash to immigration in Germany — and analyzes what it means for the future of Europe.
Trump vs. GM
Dec 7, 2018 • 21 min
Richard Epstein warns against the dangers of the president bullying private business, explains how attempts to help the working class could backfire, and cautions against the Trump Administration’s use of tariffs.
Free Speech and Campaign Finance
Nov 29, 2018 • 25 min
Richard Epstein examines the state of campaign finance law, explains why disclosure laws may no longer be the remedy they were once thought to be, and responds to proposals aimed at getting money out of politics.
Why School Choice Matters
Nov 15, 2018 • 17 min
Richard Epstein explains the economic rationale for school choice and considers the successes of the charter school sector.
Debating Birthright Citizenship
Nov 7, 2018 • 22 min
Richard Epstein parses the argument that birthright citizenship is guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment, considers President Trump’s efforts to undo it by executive order, and lays out the principles that should guide immigration policy.
The Perils of Soft Socialism
Oct 30, 2018 • 23 min
Richard Epstein examines the newly fashionable calls for “democratic socialism” in America, and explains what the effects of such an agenda would look like.
Climate Change and the IPCC
Oct 17, 2018 • 22 min
Richard Epstein sheds light on the scientific and economic shortcomings of a new climate change report from the UN.
What’s Wrong with Administrative Law?
Oct 10, 2018 • 21 min
Richard Epstein describes the pathologies of the modern administrative state, explores their historical genesis, and explains how the newest members of the Supreme Court may rein in the executive branch.
California’s Diversity Quota
Oct 2, 2018 • 18 min
Richard Epstein examines the weaknesses of a new California law that requires a minimum number of women on corporate boards, and considers the dangers that accompany government-dictated diversity.
The Kavanaugh Controversy
Sep 21, 2018 • 19 min
Richard Epstein examines the allegations made against Brett Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford.
Trump and the Anonymous Op-Ed
Sep 13, 2018 • 19 min
Richard Epstein reacts to the publication of an anonymous op-ed by a Trump Administration staffer detailing efforts to thwart the president’s agenda, examining the case for a DOJ investigation and the author’s contention that the 25th Amendment could be…
The Kavanaugh Confirmation
Sep 6, 2018 • 23 min
Richard Epstein responds to the arguments employed to discredit Brett Kavanugh’s candidacy for the Supreme Court and considers how the confirmation process has changed over the years.
Elizabeth Warren’s Surreptitious Socialism
Aug 30, 2018 • 19 min
Richard Epstein describes how a new proposal to nationalize corporate regulation would devastate the American economy.
What Cohen Means for Trump
Aug 23, 2018 • 18 min
Richard Epstein explains what the guilty plea of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen — and the conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort — means for the president’s future.
Harvard, Affirmative Action, and Diversity
Aug 17, 2018 • 23 min
Richard Epstein examines a recent lawsuit by a group of Asian-American students who claim that Harvard systematically discriminates against them in the admissions process, explaining how current legal standards can often lead to shadow affirmative action…
Federalism and the Resistance
Aug 9, 2018 • 24 min
Richard Epstein looks at current controversies about federalism — including over environmental regulation and immigration — and discusses the Founders’ concept of subsidiarity and how it has changed over the years.
Regulating Big Tech?
Aug 2, 2018 • 27 min
Richard Epstein looks at proposals to regulate tech companies over antitrust, privacy and free speech issues — and takes a look at the tech world’s embrace of a Universal Basic Income as the salve for automation-driven job losses.
Fighting the Trade War
Jul 26, 2018 • 21 min
Richard Epstein explains the shortcomings of President Trump’s trade policy, explores the best and worst-cases scenarios, and lays out the right — and wrong — ways to think about trade deficits.
Trump, Putin, and the US-Russia Relationship
Jul 17, 2018 • 22 min
Richard Epstein reacts to President Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki and explains how the Mueller investigation colors the president’s views on Russia.
Judging Brett Kavanaugh
Jul 11, 2018 • 22 min
Richard Epstein grades the choice of Brett Kavanaugh for a seat on the Supreme Court, critiques the current confirmation process, and explains why “judicial activism” and “judicial restraint” are frequently mischaracterized.
A New Era at the Supreme Court
Jun 27, 2018 • 19 min
Richard Epstein reacts to the news that Anthony Kennedy is retiring from the Supreme Court, speculates on his possible replacements, and explains the potential implications for constitutional law.
The Kennedy Conundrum
Jun 21, 2018 • 20 min
As has become an annual tradition in the Trump era, the end of another Supreme Court session brings rumors of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s impending retirement. In this episode, Richard Epstein looks at Justice Kennedy’s legacy, considers whether lifetime…
North Korea and Trump’s Foreign Policy
Jun 15, 2018 • 17 min
Richard Epstein considers the pros and cons of America’s newfound diplomatic engagement with North Korea, and discusses related issues of trade, human rights, and presidential power.
Religious Liberty and the Masterpiece verdict
Jun 11, 2018 • 20 min
Richard Epstein explores the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay marriage ceremony, critiques the judicial style of Anthony Kennedy, and explains how anti-discrimination laws have expanded beyond a…
The (Self) Pardon Power?
Jun 7, 2018 • 18 min
Richard Epstein explains what the Constitution says about President Trump’s ability to pardon himself, grapples with the constitutional standards for impeachment, and warns about the political excesses being engendered by the Mueller investigation.
Arbitration, Collective Bargaining, and the Supreme Court
Jun 1, 2018 • 17 min
Richard Epstein reacts to the recent Supreme Court decision in Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis, defending the right of employers to use arbitration and avoid class action lawsuits.
Peace in the Middle East?
May 24, 2018 • 22 min
Richard Epstein examines the recent violence in Gaza and explains the hopelessness of current Middle East peace initiatives.
Reasonable Disagreements: Trade-War Debate: Richard Epstein vs Adam White
May 23, 2018 • 37 min
On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced that “we’re putting the trade war [with China] on hold.” Meanwhile the NAFTA renegotiations seem to be stalling. Professors Epstein and White debate trade policy in theory and practice. Featuring cameo…
Mueller’s Mistakes
May 8, 2018 • 18 min
Richard Epstein analyzes the latest developments in the Russia investigation and delivers a withering judgment as to how the Mueller team has performed thus far.
North Korea, Iran, and American Foreign Policy
May 2, 2018 • 17 min
Has President Trump brought the world nearer to chaos or safety?
The Behaviorist Temptation
Apr 26, 2018 • 20 min
Ten years after the release of Nudge, the volume that popularized behavioral economics, Richard Epstein considers the shortcomings of the behaviorist school and the concept of “libertarian paternalism.” (Playing time: 20:26)
The Economics of Amazon
Apr 19, 2018 • 17 min
Richard Epstein parses President Trump’s economic criticisms of Amazon — and examines a Supreme Court case that will determine how online retailers pay taxes. (Playing time: 17:16)
The Cohen Raid
Apr 11, 2018 • 21 min
Richard Epstein breaks down the legal rationales that may — or may not — have justified the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s personal lawyer. He also examines the broader trajectory of the Mueller investigation. Whose job is in more danger: Mueller’s or…
The Unintended Consequences of Anti-Discrimination Laws
Apr 5, 2018 • 20 min
Richard Epstein discusses the history behind America’s anti-discrimination laws and explains why they’re not well-suited for the modern economy. (Playing time: 20:23)
Repeal the Second Amendment?
Mar 29, 2018 • 17 min
Richard Epstein reacts to former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ suggestion that the Second Amendment be repealed — and explains why the constitutional arguments about guns may point in a different direction than the policy arguments. (Playing…
The Public Pension Crisis
Mar 23, 2018 • 20 min
Richard Epstein explains how public pensions came to be a ticking time bomb for states and cities throughout the U.S., what the financial ramifications are, and why the road to reform is so perilous. (Playing time: 20:24)
Trade, Tariffs, and Trump
Mar 15, 2018 • 18 min
Richard Epstein contrasts two recent actions by the Trump Administration — the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum, and the blocking of a foreign company’s attempts to take over an American tech firm — to demonstrate when national security…
Free Speech on College Campuses
Mar 8, 2018 • 24 min
Richard Epstein looks at how attempts to suppress conservative speakers on college campuses intersects with the First Amendment, and calls on 50 years of experience as a university professor to diagnose how liberal activism has changed over the years.…
The Supreme Court and Public Sector Unions
Mar 2, 2018 • 20 min
Richard Epstein looks at Janus v. AFSCME, a Supreme Court case out of Illinois with the potential to dramatically reduce the power of public sector unions. (Playing time: 20:24)
The Florida Shooting, Gun Control, and the Second Amendment
Feb 21, 2018 • 23 min
In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, Richard Epstein provides his legal analysis of where Second Amendment jurisprudence went wrong and explains what policy options might actually help to ease gun violence — and why real solutions are devilishly…
The Future of Obamacare
Feb 15, 2018 • 20 min
Richard Epstein describes a potentially groundbreaking healthcare case out of Idaho, where insurers are looking to give consumers more options than are currently allowed under the Affordable Care Act. (Playing time: 20:51)
The Nunes Memo and the Mueller Investigation
Feb 8, 2018 • 19 min
Richard Epstein parses the memo recently released by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, a document that they claim shows impropriety in the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign. (Playing time: 19:20)
Area 45: President Trump, From A Libertarian Perspective
Feb 6, 2018 • 62 min
A funny thing happened to America’s libertarian movement – it expected a champion to emerge in the 2016 election; it may or may not have one in Donald Trump. Richard Epstein, the Hoover Institution’s Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow and the voice…