Hans A. von Spakovsky

Senior Legal Fellow / Manager, Civil Justice Reform Initiative, The Heritage Foundation

Hans von Spakovsky examines how civil justice is administered in state and federal courts as senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.

As manager of the think tank’s Civil Justice Reform Initiative, von Spakovsky is particularly interested in the ways that plaintiffs’ attorneys and activists try to manipulate the courts for their own ends -- at the expense of the public. The project studies not only how the civil justice system can be protected but improved and made more efficient, resulting in greater fairness and predictability for all.

“This is an issue vital to the economy of the country as well as the health and well-being of Americans,” von Spakovsky says.

Among other responsibilities, von Spakovsky researches and writes about aspects of election law such as campaign finance, voter fraud and voter identification as well as registration and equipment issues. These have emerged as important topics in an era of razor-thin victory margins for national candidates.

Before joining Heritage in 2008, he served two years as a member of the Federal Election Commission, the authority charged with enforcing campaign finance laws for congressional and presidential elections, including public funding.

Previously, von Spakovsky worked at the Justice Department as counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights, providing expertise in enforcing the Voting Rights Act and the Help America Vote Act of 2002.

A former litigator, in-house counsel and senior corporate officer in the insurance industry, von Spakovsky worked on tort reform and civil justice issues there for more than a decade.

He also has served on the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and on the Fulton County (Ga.) Board of Registrations and Elections. He is a member of the Fairfax County (Va.) Electoral Board and the Virginia Advisory Board to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

His analysis and commentary have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico and Human Events, as well as such outlets as National Review Online and Townhall. He has testified before state and congressional committees and made presentations to, among other organizations, the National Association of Secretaries of State, the Federalist Society, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Legislative Exchange Council.

A 1984 graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Law, von Spakovsky received a bachelor's degree in 1981 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He currently resides in Vienna, Va.

  • B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • J.D., Vanderbilt Law

The Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues. The people listed as Experts have spoken or otherwise participated in Federalist Society events, publications, or multimedia presentations. A person's appearance on this list does not imply any other endorsement or relationship between the person and the Federalist Society. All expressions of opinion by an expert are those of the expert.

Upcoming Events
Evenwel and Voting Rights
Harvard Student Chapter
November 02, 2015
Publications and Multimedia
Reed v. Town of Gilbert, Arizona - Post-Argument SCOTUScast
SCOTUScast 1-15-15 featuring Hans von Spakovsky
January 15, 2015
A Sign of Things to Come?: Reed v. Town of Gilbert - Podcast
Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Podcast
January 13, 2015
Is the Akaka Bill Back? - Podcast
Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
December 17, 2014
The Future of Voting Rights - Event Audio/Video
Civil Rights in the United States
September 14, 2014
Obama's Enforcer: Eric Holder's Justice Department - Podcast
Federalism & Separation of Powers Practice Group Podcast
June 20, 2014
The Voting Rights Act in the Supreme Court: Shelby County v. Holder - Podcast
Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
April 17, 2013
Is Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act Constitutional? - Podcast
Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
February 03, 2012
Felon Voting - Podcast
Civil Rights Practice Group Podcast
February 02, 2012
ACLU of New Mexico, et al. v. Santillanes - Podcast
Civil Rights Practice Group
July 29, 2009
SCOTUScast 11-18-08 featuring Hans von Spakovsky
Bartlett v. Strickland
November 18, 2008
The Scope of the Franchise, 2008 - Event Audio/Video
2008 Election Law Conference
October 07, 2008
SCOTUScast 5-5-08 featuring Hans von Spakovsky
Crawford v. Marion County
May 05, 2008
Voting Fraud - Event Audio
Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group
September 13, 2006
Voter Fraud in Our Republic
Free Speech & Election Law Practice Group Newsletter - Volume 3, Issue 3, Winter 2000
February 01, 2000