Douglas M. Spencer

Douglas M. Spencer
University of Connecticut | UConn · School of Law

Ph.D. Jurisprudence and Social Policy (UC Berkeley)

About

9
Publications
2,049
Reads
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94
Citations
Introduction
My research emphasizes the importance of using empirical evidence to judge voting rights, campaign finance, and election administration cases in the courts. My writing specifically aims to show how basic concepts of research design can improve the development of election law rules and the way they are judged.
Additional affiliations
August 2013 - present
University of Connecticut
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Constitutional Law Election Law Introduction to Public Policy
August 2013 - present
University of Connecticut
Position
  • Professor
Description
  • Voting rights Campaign finance Election administration Empirical Legal Studies
Education
September 2008 - May 2011
September 2007 - May 2013
University of California, Berkeley
Field of study
  • Jurisprudence & Social Policy
September 2006 - May 2008

Publications

Publications (9)
Article
Full-text available
A recent spate of election laws tightened registration rules, reduced convenient voting opportunities, and required voters to show specific types of identification in order to vote. Because these laws make voting more difficult, critics have analogized them to Jim-Crow era voter suppression laws. We challenge the analogy that current restrictive vo...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, the courts have invalidated a variety of campaign finance laws while simultaneously upholding disclosure requirements. Courts view disclosure as a less-restrictive means to root out corruption while critics claim that disclosure chills speech and deters political participation. Using individual-level contribution data from state el...
Article
Full-text available
Until the Supreme Court put an end to it in Shelby County v. Holder, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act was widely regarded as an effective, low-cost tool for blocking potentially discriminatory changes to election laws and administrative practices. The provision the Supreme Court left standing, Section 2, is generally seen as expensive, cumbersome...
Article
Full-text available
the three most important civil rights laws since Reconstruction: The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1965. As we approach the 50th anniversary of these laws, it is clear that all three have fundamentally remade the United States; education, employment, housing, politics,...
Article
Full-text available
The Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder (2013) effectively enjoined the preclearance regime of the Voting Rights Act. The Court deemed the coverage formula, which determines the jurisdictions subject to preclearance, insufficiently grounded in current conditions. This Article proposes a new, legally defensible approach to coverage based on bet...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we investigate whether, when Congress relies upon private lawsuits to implement a law, the details of the legislation can importantly influence the extent to which the private bar is mobilized to carry out the prosecutorial function. We ask: In statutes with private rights of action, can Congress substantially affect the degree to whi...
Article
Full-text available
What effect has Citizens United v. FEC had on independent spending in American politics? Previous attempts to answer this question have focused solely on federal elections, where there is no baseline for comparing changes in spending behavior. We overcome this limitation by examining the effects of Citizens United as a natural experiment on the sta...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates whether and if so under what conditions the California Attorney General, who authors the ballot title and summary (“label”) for statewide ballot initiatives, writes ballot language that is biased rather than impartial. State law demands an impartial label, but commentators frequently complain that the AG chooses misleading l...
Article
Full-text available
This pilot study represents the first systematic attempt to determine how common lines are on Election Day, at what times of day lines are most likely to form, what are the bottlenecks in the voting process, and how long it takes an average citizen to cast his or her ballot. This study highlights the importance of evaluating polling station operati...

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