United States Supreme Court Judicial Database, 1953-1997 Terms (ICPSR 9422)

Principal Investigator(s): Spaeth, Harold J.


This data collection encompasses all aspects of United States Supreme Court decision-making from the beginning of the Warren Court in 1953 to the completion of the most recent term of the Rehnquist Court. In this collection, distinct aspects of the Court's decisions are covered by six types of variables: (1) identification variables including citations and docket numbers, (2) background variables offering information on how the Court took jurisdiction, origin and source of case, and the reason the Court granted cert, (3) chronological variables covering date of decision, Court term, and natural court, (4) substantive variables including legal provisions, issues, and direction of decision, (5) outcome variables supplying information on disposition of case, winning party, formal alteration of precedent, and declaration of unconstitutionality, and (6) voting and opinion variables pertaining to how individual justices voted, their opinions and interagreements, and the direction of their votes.

Series: United States Supreme Court Judicial Database Terms Series

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


Dataset - Download All Files (30.721 MB)
SAS    SPSS    Stata    ASCII   
ASCII + SAS Setup    SPSS Setup    Stata Setup   

Study Description


Spaeth, Harold J. UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JUDICIAL DATABASE, 1953-1997 TERMS. 9th ICPSR version. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University, Dept. of Political Science [producer], 1998. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09422.v9

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR09422.v9

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • National Science Foundation (SES-8313773)
  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. Bureau of Justice Statistics

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    case processing, court cases, disposition (legal), judicial decisions, judicial review, legal history, Supreme Court decisions, Supreme Court justices, twentieth century, United States Supreme Court

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1953--1997

Date of Collection:   

  • 1984--1998

Universe:    United States Supreme Court decisions from the beginning of the Warren Court in 1953 through the completion of the most recent term of the Rehnquist Court.

Data Type(s):    event/transaction data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) The data collection contains undocumented codes. (2) The codebook is provided as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.


Data Source:


Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1990-12-04

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.
  • 1999-04-26 Data for the 1997 terms have been added to the data file, data definition statements, and codebook, and the codebook is now available as a PDF file.
  • 1998-05-20 Data for the 1996 terms have been added, and the codebook is now available as a PDF file.

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