The Sad State of the Union

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama painted a rosy picture of his administration’s work both in foreign and domestic policy. Reviewing the speech, it becomes clear that his failures both at home and abroad stem from his fundamental misconception of his own role. In working with matters overseas, the President must […]

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

by Richard Epstein

Forbes

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. Previously, I have written an evaluation of the 2010 […]

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Obamacare’s Slow Death?

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

Back in 2010, President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress took the wrong fork in the road to health care reform. To be sure, the case for some reform was very strong, given that the mixed health care system in the United States provided inferior health care at premium prices for large portions of the […]

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Stopping Another Charlie Hebdo

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

Last week’s senseless slaughters at Charlie Hebdo in Paris has had the welcome consequence of uniting in massive public demonstrations those who are all too often locked in conflict. But signs of solidarity, like that in Paris this past Sunday, will not achieve their intended purpose unless they spur everyone to reexamine the fundamental principles of social […]

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Controlling Chinese Antitrust Abuses Against Foreign Patent Owners Requires U.S. To Make Sound Decisions At Home

by Richard Epstein

Forbes

Key commercial players in both the European Union and the United States have raised a chorus of well-timed complaints about the systematic bias in China’s enforcement of its Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). In principle antitrust laws should be used to foster, not stifle competition. The AML, however, is a peculiar amalgam of sensible prohibitions against horizontal […]

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The Elusive Two-State Solution

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

When I first started teaching law at the University of Southern California in 1968, I received a wise piece of advice from a notable trust and estate lawyer, Hermione K. Brown, who said pithily: “You can always tell a good deal because it leaves both sides happy. And you can always tell a good settlement, because […]

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Making Sense of The Torture Report

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

Last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein, head of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, released to great fanfare, an exhaustive report, prepared solely by the Democratic members of her Committee, on the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program, adopted in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. It is easy to criticize this report, as […]

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Water, Water Everywhere (Including 60 Minutes)

by Max Raskin

If wars in the 21st century will be fought over water, as this 60 Minutes segment begins, then Justice Mahlon Pitney is the Sun Tzu of the upcoming conflict. In his 1909 opinion in Meeker v. East Orange, New Jersey Chancellor Pitney (who later served on the United States Supreme Court) presaged the arms race […]

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The Way Forward On Police Reform

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

For the past two years, I have taught a course in criminal procedure at the University of Chicago Law School. A key component of that course dealt with police behavior leading up to an arrest. In the class, I pointed out that relations between the police and the public have improved from the bad old […]

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Ferguson and the Rule of Law

by Richard Epstein

Defining Ideas

As most people by now know, on August 9 of this year, 18 year-old Michael Brown, a black man, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a 28 year-old white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. On November 19, the Ferguson Grand Jury decided not to indict Wilson. Few events this year have attracted more attention […]

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