• SCOTUS Sources

     BY NGP

    (Originally published on April 9, 2010)

    Since we published our approach to A Visual History of the Supreme Court of the United States, we got quite a few requests for the sources of the poster. We decided to publish them here, with links. Comments are welcome!

    Epstein, Lee, Thomas G. Walker, Nancy Staudt, Scott Hendrickson, and Jason Roberts. (2010). “The U.S. Supreme Court Justices Database.” Chicago, IL: Northwestern University School of Law, January 26.

    Andrew D. Martin and Kevin M. Quinn. 2002. “Dynamic Ideal Point Estimation via Markov Chain Monte Carlo for the U.S. Supreme Court, 1953-1999.” Political Analysis. 10:134-153.

    The Oyez Project.

    U.S. Department of Justice. “Solicitors General of the United States.”

    Hogue, Henry B. CRS Report for Congress, “Supreme Court Nominations Not Confirmed, 1789-2004,” 21 March 2005. [PDF].

    The information we used regarding the presidents (dates of terms, etc.) are widely available. We used workers in Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service to fact-check our names and dates. We initially approached Mechanical Turk as an experiment in outsourcing fact-checking; the work we received from its workers ran the gamut from useful to wacky. The useful work, though, proved the experiment to be worth it — we received thoughtful comments on everything from design and layout to the presentation of the data itself.

    Wikipedia. A note on Wikipedia: We find Wikipedia to be a highly useful source for finding information quickly. However, since it is an open platform (, we made sure to corroborate any first findings on Wikipedia with other sources.

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