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Joshua A. Douglas has been named an Ashland, Inc.-Spears Distinguished Research Professor of Law, effective July 1, 2020. Douglas, a voting rights and constitutional law expert, is the author of Vote for US: How to Take Back our Elections and Change the Future of Voting, a popular press book that provides hope and inspiration for a positive path forward on voting rights.

His most recent legal scholarship focuses on the constitutional right to vote, with an emphasis on state constitutions, as well as the various laws, rules, and judicial decisions impacting election administration. He has written extensively on election law procedure.

The selection committee consisted of UK College of Engineering Dean Rudolph Buchheit, Kentucky Chief Justice John D. Minton and Chief Judge Danny Reeves of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District. According to the selection committee, “In making this recommendation, we point to Professor Douglas’ past scholarly productivity and the influence it has had in judicial decision-making. This is taken as evidence in favor of continued scholarly impact. We also point to the focus and relevance of his proposed research in voting rights and election law, and his detailed scholarship plan.”

Dean Mary J. Davis noted in the announcement to the UK J. David Rosenberg College of Law community that the professorship is one of the college’s most distinguished professorships and is given to a current law professor who excels in research. Among other things, the holder is eligible for an extra sabbatical leave in addition to the sabbatical leave available as a regular faculty member. Douglas’ term in the Ashland, Inc.-Spears position will last for five years.

Douglas has published in top journals, including the Georgetown Law Journal, Penn Law Review Online, Vanderbilt Law Review, Washington University Law Review, George Washington Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, and the Election Law Journal, among others. His article Procedural Fairness in Election Contests was a winner of the 2011-12 SEALS Call for Papers, and he has been cited extensively in major law review articles and case books in the field.

He is also a co-author of an Election Law case book (Aspen Publishers 2014) and a co-editor of Election Law Stories (Foundation Press 2016), which tells the behind-the-scenes stories of the major cases in the field. In addition, his media commentaries have appeared in the New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, LA Times, USA Today, Reuters, Politico, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, and Slate, among others, and he has been quoted in major newspapers throughout the country. He appeared live on CNN on Election Day 2016.

Further, he was the founder and initial chair of the AALS Section on Election Law.

Prior to joining UK, Douglas clerked for the Honorable Edward C. Prado of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and practiced litigation at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. Douglas earned his J.D. from George Washington University Law School, where he was an articles editor on the GW Law Review.