Thursday, February 21, 2008

Constitutional Cases Before SCOTUS in 2007-2008

I've been working on a significant new feature for a while, and am pleased to announce that it's finally ready for use.   Of the approximately 75 cases the Supreme Court has decided or will decide during this term, 21 of them turn, at least in part, on the interpretation of some constitutional language.  Despite the outsized importance of these cases and the news coverage given to them individually, I haven't found one good place where one can quickly get up to speed and stay current on all of these cases at once.  Thus, I created my own.

This feature -- a look at the constitutional cases before the Court during the 2007-2008 term -- currently contains for each case some basic background info and  a brief description of the major constitutional issue or issues raised.  The cases are listed in chronological order by argument date or scheduled argument date.  Cases that have been argued by this point have links to argument transcripts (and audio, if available,) and cases that have been already been decided (only two, as of this writing)  have links to the SCOTUS opinions.  Of course, links to new argument transcripts and opinions will be added as the term further progresses.  Additionally, I am gradually working on adding links to the relevant lower court decisions being appealed and some links to news and scholarly coverage.   Case information is taken from the invaluable SCOTUSwiki, from the Oyez project website,  from various places on the Court's own site, and from my normal travels around the net. 

I'm sure I'll revise the general format and content of the feature as I go along;  this is very much an evolving project.   Right now the info is in a .pdf file, but that might change if I find a better way to do this within the limitations of Blogger.  I hope you find this feature interesting and useful, and if you have any suggestions (or corrections) leave them in the comments.


Update:  The links in this post will continue to point to the version of the file that was posted on this date.  For the most recently updated version of this feature, click the permanent link at the top right corner of the main page.


Alex said...

Well done Brian. All that's missing is your own take on the cases (and I vaguely remember that a larger theory of Constitutional interpretation was forthcoming).

Brian said...

Thanks, Alex. I hope that this compilation will make the Court's docket of constitutional cases more accessible, even if in a very small way, to readers who don't really have time to keep up with every development for all of those cases on a day-to-day basis. Moreover, it forces me to keep on top of the cases and enhance my own understanding of them. Of course, if it also helps bring traffic to the site that will be a pleasing side-benefit.

As for the interpretation theorizing I promised, it is still coming, though in a somewhat different format and with a somewhat different aim than I first intended. I'm glad I held off on it a bit, as I've devoted a great deal of thought to matters over the last couple of months and made some more progress (or, at least what I think is progress). But, rest assured, something is coming soon. Honest.