September 17, 2019
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 and given him an entire episode on the topic. In this show, Richard explains why Roman Law remains relevant today; why it made especially valuable contributions on the topic of water law; how a failure to understand Roman law has weakened Supreme Court decisions; and what the connection is between the Romans and the Anglo-American legal tradition.
September 10, 2019
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 practical dangers of relying purely on the popular vote; looks at how Maine and Nebraska have constructed variations on the winner-take-all system; and explains why the inability to pass constitutional amendments is a feature rather than a bug in the current political environment.
September 3, 2019
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 from the EU; explains how the European Union overshot the legitimate goals of continental integration; and describes how Britain’s “unwritten constitution,” far from being an English aberration, actually has echoes in the American system.
August 29, 2019
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 from a narrow focus on shareholders to a much more expansive commitment to “stakeholders.” In this episode, Richard Epstein explains how such efforts blur the lines between private business, charity, and government; why a corporation’s responsibility to shareholders isn’t inherently anti-social; And where progressive critiques of corporate governance and “quarterly capitalism” fall short.
August 22, 2019
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 China worth it because of their potential geopolitical dividends? Is cutting payroll taxes a reasonable way to jumpstart the economy? And are we better off letting recessions burn themselves out rather than seeking to arrest them through government intervention?
August 15, 2019
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.
August 8, 2019
Richard Epstein describes the catastrophic consequences that single-payer healthcare will have for both the economy and the medical profession.
July 31, 2019
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.
July 25, 2019
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.
July 19, 2019
Richard Epstein looks back on the career of the late Justice John Paul Stevens, reviewing some of his most consequential judicial decisions.