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).
President Donald Trump appointed von Spakovsky to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in 2017.
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, The Hill and USA Today, as well as such outlets as National Review Online and Fox News. 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.