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Can Laws be Simple?

Short video featuring Richard Epstein
Richard A. Epstein August 08, 2017

Can the Common Law be reduced to a series of simple rules?  Professor Richard Epstein of NYU School of Law argues “yes," even in spite of the complexity of modern society.

Professor Epstein provides an alternative to the conventional view that property rights are arbitrarily created by the state, and therefore can be changed at will by the state; a few simple rules, he argues, are universal principles of social organization, consistent across time and culture, which form the basis of social gains.

Professor Epstein is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

Studying the Common Law

Short video featuring Richard Epstein
Richard A. Epstein August 08, 2017

In law school, the four major branches of the Common Law, property, contract, tort, and restitution are treated as distinct subjects with arbitrary rules. Professor Richard Epstein of NYU School of Law argues that this approach misses the mark, that there is a deep intellectual unity among these subjects.

Professor Epstein provides an alternative to the conventional view that property rights are arbitrarily created by the state, and therefore can be changed at will by the state; a few simple rules, he argues, are universal principles of social organization, consistent across time and culture, which form the basis of social gains.

Professor Epstein is the inaugural Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law at NYU School of Law, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Professor of Law Emeritus and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago.

Regulatory Takings Law: Penn Central v. City of New York

Short video featuring Eric Claeys
Eric R. Claeys August 01, 2017

Why is a state or local government more likely to prevail against a landowner in a regulatory takings dispute? Eric Claeys, Professor of Law at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, gives an overview of the dispute in Penn Central Transportation v. City of New York 438 U.S. 104 (1978), the leading case in regulatory takings law. In this case, a New York court held that Penn Central had not suffered a regulatory taking when the City of New York prevented it from building office space above the station because they still had some use of the property. This case also established a three-part balancing test for measuring compensation in regulatory takings cases.

Is Congress Afraid of Power?

Short video featuring Adam White
Adam J. White July 26, 2017

Is the modern Congress doing more harm than good? Adam White of the Hoover Institution summarizes his remarks from a panel on congressional power at the 2017 Executive Branch Review Conference.