Saturday, September 17, 2022 1-2:30 p.m. CASE 4th Floor Auditorium
Doug Spencer, Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Research, Colorado Law
Professor Doug Spencer will engage in an important and timely conversation about the interaction of law and politics. In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has instructed Americans to trust the political process to address problems with gerrymandering, to combat climate change, and to protect the right to abortion. What happens if the political process is broken? From redistricting to voting rules to microtargeting (the decision by campaigns about whom to contact), it can sometimes feel like those in power are wielding their influence to shape the electorate rather than having voters use their power to shape the government. Has America’s political system been turned on its head? In this CU on the Weekend talk, Professor Spencer will discuss recent developments in the law; in the courts; in political campaign strategies that have contributed to growing political inequality; and he will explore several potential reforms for addressing the potential breakdown of America’s democracy.
Professor Doug Spencer is the associate dean for faculty affairs and research at the University of Colorado Law School. He is an election law expert whose research addresses the role of prejudice and racial attitudes in voting rights litigation, the empirical implications of various campaign finance regulations, and the ways that election rules and political campaigns contribute to growing inequality in America. From 2013-2021, Spencer was professor of law and public policy at the University of Connecticut. He has also held visiting professor positions at the Yale Law School and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Studies.
Professor Spencer has worked as an expert witness in voting rights and campaign finance cases and, prior to teaching law, was a law clerk at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco, an election monitor in Thailand for the Asian Network for Free Elections, and a researcher for the Pew Center on the States’ Military and Overseas Voting Reform Project. Spencer holds a PhD in jurisprudence and social policy from the University of California, Berkeley. He also earned a JD at Berkeley Law and a MPP at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. He graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University in 2004 with a BA in Philosophy.
Learn more about topics Doug Spencer will cover during his lecture: