Hans A. von Spakovsky

Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues – including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform -- as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.

As manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative, von Spakovsky also studies and writes about campaign finance restrictions, voter fraud and voter ID, enforcement of federal voting rights laws, administration of elections and voting equipment standards. 

Heritage’s election reform project examines not only how to protect the integrity of campaigns and elections but to achieve greater fairness and security.  “In an era of razor-thin election margins, these issues are vital to the preservation of our republican form of government and the rule of law,” von Spakovsky says.

Previously, as manager of the think tank’s Civil Justice Reform Initiative, von Spakovsky studied how plaintiffs’ attorneys and activists attempt to manipulate the courts for their own ends -- at the expense of the public.

He is the co-author with John Fund of the book “Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk” (Encounter Books, 2012) and “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department”(HarperCollins/Broadside June 2014).

Before joining Heritage in 2008, von Spakovsky 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 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 former vice chairman of the Fairfax County (Va.) Electoral Board and a former member of the Virginia Advisory Board to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He currently serves on the Policy Board of the American Civil Rights Union.

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. His series for PJ Media, “Every Single One,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He appears regularly on Fox News Channel and on other national and regional TV and radio news outlets.

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. He also has taught as an adjunct professor at the George Mason University School of Law.

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

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Upcoming Events
Evenwel v. Abbott What Does One-Person, One-Vote Really Mean?
Indianapolis Lawyers Chapter
December 10, 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