Spencer is a Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School teaching courses on campaign finance, government ethics, lobbying, and voting rights.
During Professor Overton's time in the Obama campaign, transition, and Administration (2007-2010), he was a key leader on the Administration's landmark efforts to curb special interests, enhance transparency, and increase citizen participation. From 2007-2008, he was chair of Government Reform Policy for the Obama presidential campaign. On the Obama Transition Team, he served in the Office of the General Counsel and helped write the Administration's ethics guidelines. He also chaired the Election Assistance Commission Agency Review Team and served as a member of the Federal Election Commission Agency Review Team. At the beginning of the Obama Administration, Professor Overton took a leave from the Law School and was appointed the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice in the Office of Legal Policy. In that position, Overton partnered with the Office of White House Counsel and the White House Domestic Policy Council to lead the Administration's policy efforts on democracy and government reform.
Professor Overton's academic articles on election law have appeared in several leading law journals, and his book Stealing Democracy: The New Politics of Voter Suppression was published and released by W.W. Norton. Professor Overton is currently writing a book on corporate participation in politics.
He was also a commissioner on the Jimmy Carter-James Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform as well as the Commission on Presidential Nomination Timing and Scheduling. He has also served as a board member of several organizations, including Common Cause, Demos, and the American Constitution Society.