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. He concentrates as well on civil rights, immigration enforcement and government reform.
He is the co-author with John Fund of the new book “Who’s Counting?: How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk” (Encounter Books, 2012).
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 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.
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.