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Project Overview

The State Supreme Court Data Project created a data base containing information on State Supreme Court decisions in all fifty states during their 1995 through 1998 sessions. This archive contains 21,000 decisions reached by over 400 state supreme court justices seated during those years.

To compile these data we developed a coding scheme using Microsoft ACCESS that allowed us to enter information directly into computers with a remarkable degree of reliability. The coding rules, the template, and the reliability* scores achieved in test runs of the data entry process are documented and can be read by clicking on the links above. All tests reveal these data are valid and reliable and thus will facilitate rigorous scientific inquiry. This data base is the most comprehensive collection of data on state supreme courts compiled to date.

In addition to the data on the decisions themselves, we have assembled biographical data from published sources for all justices sitting in 1995 through 1998. Researchers may link the decisional and biographical date with measures of institutional structure and state contextual influences to perform rigorous comparative analyses of state surpreme courts.

Our efforts to compile these data and make them available to the scholarly community were undertaken with the intent to stimulate interest in the politics of state courts and to promote efforts to move our theories forward by providing a laboratory through which the extraordinarily complex relationships that affect the politics of the judiciary can be unraveled. We expect the data base to be attractive not only to scholars just entering the field but also to more established scholars who wish to expand their scholarly interests.

Funded Provided by the following NSF awards: 1) "An Individual-Level State Supreme Court Database" (051660); 2) "Fifty State Supreme Court Data Project" (9911082); 3) "Fifty State Supreme Court Data Project" (9616891); and 4) "State Supreme Court Data Project" (9514975).

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Data and Descriptions

Data Collection and Coding Process

Reliability Reports



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