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Richard L. Pacelle Jr.

Professor of Political Science, University of Tennessee

Professor Pacelle received his Ph.D. in political science from the Ohio State University. Before coming to UTK, he taught at Indiana University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis and was department chair at Georgia Southern University. His teaching and research interests are in the field of American politics with a focus on public law and the Supreme Court. Pacelle is the author of five books and several articles and book chapters. His coauthored book, Decision Making by the Modern Supreme Court, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011. More recently, he is the author of The Supreme Court in a Separation of Powers System (2015). He is currently working on a book manuscript (with Barry Pyle) on the evolution of issues in the Supreme Court.

Research and Teaching Interests: public law, Constitutional law, civil liberties, judicial process, judicial decision making, political litigation, American political institutions, research methods

Selected Publications:

“Issue Emergence and Evolution in the U.S. Supreme Court” (coauthored with Barry Pyle) in Open Judicial Politics: An Empirical Reader 2020.

“Husted v. A. Phillip Randolph Institute on Voting Rights” chapter 4 in SCOTUS 2018: Major Decisions and Developments in the Supreme Court edited by David Klein and Morgan Marietta: 39-50.

"Assessing the Influence of Amicus Curiae Briefs on the Roberts Court (with John Scheb, Hemant Sharma, and David Scott), Social Science Quarterly, 2018.

“Of Political Principles and Legal Principals: The Solicitor General of the United States” chapter 12 in The Handbook of Judicial Behavior edited by Robert Howard and Kirk Randazzo. New York: Routledge Press, 2018.

Decision Making by the Modern Supreme Court (with Brett W. Curry and Bryan W. Marshall) New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

The Supreme Court in a Separation of Powers System. New York: Routledge Press (2015).

"Dissensual Decision-Making: Revisiting the Demise of Consensual Norms within the U.S. Supreme Court" (with Marcus E. Hendershot, Mark S. Hurwitz, and Drew Noble Lanier) Political Research Quarterly (2013).

"Beyond Two Terms: Shaping the Supreme Court and a Legacy" in The Obama Presidency: Continuity and Change edited by Andrew Dowdle, Dirk C. van Raemdonck, and Robert Maranto. New York: Routledge Press, chapter 9, (2012).

"Rebuilding Institutions and Redefining Issues: The Reagan Justice Department and the Reconstruction of Civil Rights" chapter in Civil Rights, the Conservative Movement, and the Presidency edited by Kenneth Osgood and Derrick White. Gainesville: University of Florida Press, (2014).


  • –present
    Professor of Political Science, University of Tennessee