Tag: Richard Epstein

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Richard Epstein, the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, and author of The Classical Liberal Constitution: The Uncertain Quest for Limited Government. He describes the influence of 17th and 18th-century English ideas on our Founding Fathers’ views of ordered liberty and self-government. He traces federalism’s legal roots and explains why the concept of “competitive federalism” among the states and with the national government remains hotly contested. They discuss federalism as it relates to education, with early state constitutions delegating wide authority to local governments and citizens. Professor Epstein distinguishes federalism from infamous states’ rights arguments from antebellum America, or unjust state and local laws like Jim Crowism and segregation, and offers insights on how to strike a balance between the federal, state, and local governments in terms of ensuring basic rights. He explores how policymakers at all levels should think about using classical liberal constitutionalism to achieve wider access to educational excellence. The interview concludes with Professor Epstein’s reading from his book.

Stories of the Week: In the UK, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Entrepreneurship has issued a report calling on the government to prioritize instruction in entrepreneurial skills. In Utah, women constitute 72 percent of K-12 educators, but only 13 percent of school superintendents, according to 2019 study by the national School Superintendents Association.

Richard Epstein on Classical Liberalism, the Administrative State, Free Speech, and Silicon Valley Regulation


For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had legendary classical liberal legal theorist and longtime professor at University of Chicago Law School and now at NYU Law — and prodigious Ricochet podcaster Professor Richard Epstein on the podcast to discuss among other things:

  • The role that Professor Epstein’s famous book, “Takings” played in Justice Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing — and then-Senator Joe Biden’s hectoring
  • Professor Epstein’s groundbreaking theories on private property rights, eminent domain and the Takings and Commerce Clauses
  • The practical argument against progressivism
  • Whether we should deconstruct the administrative state, and if so how to do it
  • The danger to free speech emanating from college campuses in a world of microaggressions, trigger warnings, de-platforming
  • The folly of regulating Silicon Valley social media companies
  • Classical liberalism versus socialism and libertarianism

You can find the episode on iTunes, everywhere else podcasts are found or download the episode directly here.

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 behind “The Libertarian” podcast, grades the Trump presidency from a libertarian vantage.

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It seems to be my lot to point out flaws in Professor Epstein’s reasoning. In the 100th podcast of Law Talk, he repeated his contention that the Roman law of partnership should be viewed as the model for the relationship of the States to the Federal government. Under Roman law, and English and U.S. common […]

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Mortgage Deduction Phaseout


As Richard Epstein said on The Libertarian, one of the deductions he is highly in favor of eliminating is the Mortgage Interest Deduction.

I propose a phaseout of the deduction starting with a deduction cap of $60,000 for the first year and reducing it by $2,000 per year over 30 years.

The current max for a mortgage size is $1 million. A $60k deduction is equivalent to a 6% mortgage at this debt level — a rate very few people are paying.

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As a former student, catching Professor Epstein in an error brings great delight. As it is also more likely to reveal my fuzzy thinking than his, making this claim requires careful consideration. But I’m confident that Professor Epstein is wrong (or at least, not completely right) about how we should tax capital gains. In this […]

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Today we Ricochetti were treated to the ravings of a man of the cloth (well mortarboard) who has helpfully advised us on how to save us from ourselves. Distinguished professor Richard Epstein has sided with the 9th Circuit, because….he simply doesn’t like the cut of this man Trump’s jib. Consider his summary paragraph of today’s […]

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Yesterday’s Non-Originalism


James_Madison_Portrait2Conservatives tend to be originalists in constitutional interpretation. But not all to the right of center are originalists, and not all non-originalists are hard-core, leftist living constitutionalists. There’s a view of non-originalism that’s remarkably compatible with conservativism. I don’t endorse it myself, but it’s well worth looking at.

Another way of putting it: There’s an alternative to originalism that’s not today’s alternative. It’s not the Left’s. It’s old, or at least it has old roots. It has a lot to do with Madison. Let’s start with some of his principles and build up to that alternative:

First, Madison tells us that the Constitution is given its authority by the people:

The Libertarian Podcast with Richard Epstein: “Responding to the ISIS Threat”


This week on The Libertarian podcast, Professor Epstein considers the public policy questions stemming from the San Bernardino attack: do gun control efforts have a new currency after yet another mass shooting? Does the US need to seriously constrict immigration? Did the USA Freedom Act’s restrictions on the collection of metadata leave the country needlessly vulnerable? Find out Richard’s take on those questions and more below or by subscribing to The Libertarian via iTunes.

The Libertarian Podcast, with Richard Epstein: “New York, ExxonMobil, and Global Warming”


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has issued subpoenas to ExxonMobil because of a suspicion that the company’s internal research on the potential impacts of climate change tells a different story than its public actions. Is this political grandstanding or a legitimate fraud investigation? How can you face legal suspicion over studies that are inherently speculative? Is this the prelude to a prosecutorial offensive against energy companies modeled after the attack on the tobacco industry? Those are just some of the questions Professor Epstein addresses in the latest issue of The Libertarian, available below or when you subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

The Libertarian Podcast, with Richard Epstein: “The Second Amendment and Gun Violence”


For those who need a reminder that there’s no one out there quite like Richard Epstein, we present the newest episode of The Libertarian podcast: one in which Richard argues that the Supreme Court got its famous Second Amendment in decision in District of Columbia v. Heller wrong, but also that the gun control measures usually advocated for by the Left are essentially useless. This one will get people talking. Listen in below or by subscribing to The Libertarian through iTunes.

The Libertarian Podcast: “Foreign Policy, Global Warming, and the Pope”


In the first of a two-part series responding to Pope Francis’ recent visit to the United States, Professor Epstein looks at the pontiff’s statements regarding the crisis in Syria, climate change, and — that old Epstein chestnut — creating markets for organ donations. Listen in below (or subscribe via iTunes) and come back next week for a full episode on Francis’ views on economics and the poor.

The Libertarian Podcast, with Richard Epstein: “On Trump and Taxes”


Are members of the hedge fund crowd really just getting lucky by pushing paper around? Is the tax treatment of carried interest a national scandal? Is there a principled case for taxing capital gains at a different rate than ordinary income? And what’s the right approach to take towards comprehensive tax reform? Those are some of the questions I explore with Professor Epstein this week as we examine Donald Trump’s criticisms of financial elites. Listen in below or subscribe to The Libertarian podcast via iTunes.

The Libertarian Podcast, with Richard Epstein: “US Global Leadership and the Refugee Crisis”


How much of the responsibility for the refugee crisis currently roiling Europe falls on the United States? What kind of legal and moral obligations do we have to international populations that have suffered as a result of decisions we have (or haven’t) made? And what lessons ought we to take for American foreign policy from the present chaos in the Middle East? Those are some of the questions I take up with Professor Epstein on this week’s installment of The Libertarian, which you can listen to below or by subscribing to the series via iTunes.

The Libertarian Podcast, with Richard Epstein: “The Uses and Abuses of the Clean Water Act”


I know what you’re thinking: “I’ve just read this terrific Richard Epstein post on the Clean Water Act (see below), but where I can get some sweet Epstein environmental protection podcast action?” Well, friends, look no further. In this episode of The Libertarian podcast we endeavor to give a layman’s explanation of the Clean Water Act and explain how a well-intended law has obstructed genuine environmental protection while snagging innocent landowners in a needless regulatory morass. Listen in below or subscribe to The Libertarian podcast via iTunes so that you never miss an episode.

The Libertarian Podcast: Birthright Citizenship and Immigration


You’ve heard the Yoo-Coulter debate. Now it’s time for Professor Epstein to weigh in. On this week’s episode of The Libertarian podcast, Richard takes up the issue of whether the Fourteenth Amendment really does guarantee citizenship for children born in America to illegal immigrants, explores the broader development of the law around what it means to be an American citizen, and explains why this issue is forcing conservatives and liberals alike to embrace methods of constitutional interpretation they usually abhor.

You can subscribe to The Libertarian podcast via iTunes or your favorite podcast app or you can listen in below after the jump.