Douglas M. Spencer

Professor of Law and Public Policy
Headshot of Professor Douglas Spencer
Office: Hosmer 312
  • Administrative Law
  • Legislation
  • Election Law
  • Empirical Methods for Lawyers

Douglas Spencer is a professor with appointments in both the law school and the department of public policy. His research interests include the empirical study of public law, campaign finance, voting rights, and election administration. He teaches Constitutional Law, Election Law, and the Introduction to Public Policy course in the Master of Public Administration program at UConn.

Professor Spencer's research has been published, or is forthcoming, in the Columbia Law Review, California Law Review, Indiana Law Journal, University of Illinois Law Review, Journal of Law & Courts, and the Election Law Journal. His work has also been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Slate and other media outlets.

Professor Spencer was a clerk at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco, and worked at the U.S. Department of the Interior and the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group in Washington, DC. In 2005 he was an election monitor for the Thailand national parliamentary elections and later worked as a non-resident researcher for the Pew Center on the States' Military and Overseas Voting Reform Project.

Professor Spencer holds a Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, a J.D. from Berkeley Law, an M.P.P. from UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, and a B.A. degree in Philosophy from Columbia University.

Douglas M. Spencer, Passive Voter Suppression: Campaign Mobilization and the Effective Disenfranchisement of the Poor, 114 Nw. U.L. Rev. 633 (2019) (with Bertrall L. Ross II)

Douglas M. Spencer, Administering Section 2 of the VRA After Shelby County, 115 Colum. L. Rev. 2146 (2015) (with Christopher S. Elmendorf)

Douglas M. SpencerDid Multicultural America Result From a Mistake? The 1965 Immigration Act and Evidence From Roll Call Votes, 2015 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1239 (2015) (with Gabriel J. Chin)
Douglas M. SpencerThe Geography of Racial Stereotyping: Evidence and Implications for VRA "Preclearance" After Shelby County, 102 Cal. L. Rev. 1123 (2014) (with Christopher S. Elmendorf)
Douglas M. SpencerLegislating Incentives for Attorney Representation in Civil Rights Litigation, 2 J.L. & Courts 241 (2014) (with Sean Farhang)
Douglas M. SpencerCitizens United, States Divided: An Empirical Analysis of Independent Political Spending, 89 Ind. L. J. 315 (2014) (with Abby K. Wood)
Douglas M. SpencerAre Ballot Titles Biased? Partisanship in California's Supervision of Direct Democracy, 3 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 511 (2013) (with Christopher S. Elmendorf)
Douglas M. Spencer, Long Lines at Polling Stations? Observations from an Election Day Field Study, 9 Election L. J. 3 (2010) (with Zachary S. Markovits)
Recent Faculty Notes
Douglas Spencer Presents at Vanderbilt
Nov 19, 2020 -

Professor Douglas Spencer presented at Vanderbilt's Legal Perspectives on the 2020 Election event on November 5, 2020. The Zoom panel discussed possible election-related litigation and foreign intervention in the presidential election. Spencer addressed campaign finance, voting rights, and election administration. 

Douglas Spencer to Present at Yale
Oct 30, 2020 -

Professor Douglas Spencer will present on a panel at Yale Law School on November 4, 2020. The panel is titled "What Did We Learn?" and is sponsored by the Yale ACS in response to the 2020 election. Douglas will be discussing voting rights and litigation.

Douglas Spencer Speaks at CBA Event
Oct 13, 2020 -

Professor Douglas Spencer spoke at the CBA's Constitution Day Celebration on September 29, 2020. The virtual program discussed the disputed 2000 presidential election, the United States Supreme Court's resulting decision in Bush v. Gore, the roles of the federal and state courts in considering election disputes, and how they are likely to inform court challenges that may arise during the 2020 presidential election.

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