Skip to main
University-wide Navigation

April 8, 2016

University of Kentucky College of Law Professor Joshua Douglas recently authored an opinion piece, "What if eight justices must decide election?" published in The Courier-Journal on March 31.

To read the op-ed, visit

“The Senate must hold a hearing and vote on President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Chief Judge Merrick Garland," Douglas wrote in the piece. He went on to give his reasoning why: "the catastrophe that would occur if the presidential election goes into overtime, there are an even number of justices on the court, and the court splits 4-4."

Though he says the chance of a deadlock would be rare, “this election season has already proven that the improbable is quite possible.” He concludes by asking readers, “Do we really want to take the chance?”

Douglas is the Robert G. Lawson & William H. Fortune Associate Professor of Law at UK College of Law. He teaches and researches election law, civil procedure, constitutional law and judicial decision making. He is also a co-author of an Election Law case book (Aspen Publishers 2014) and a co-editor of a new book, Election Law Stories (Foundation Press 2016), which tells the behind-the-scenes stories of the major cases in the field.