Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The study of courts has been tremendously advanced via the availability of data, key to an empirical, scientific analysis of the decision-making of the political actors that make up the judiciary. Data availability has also enabled a rich and complete description of the courts’ work. This chapter considers the evolution of the study of the subfield of political science that considers judges and courts with particular focus on the role of data therein. It concludes that the Spaeth database, and other, similar multi-user publicly available databases, have had a huge influence on the evolution of public law into mainstream political science. While some argue over the specifics of the plethora of coding decisions made in the creation of such databases, the positive impact they have had on the scholarship about courts cannot be overstated.

Keywords: Spaeth database, judicial behavior, Supreme Court, public law, legal realism, behavioralism, quantitative analyses, multi-user databases

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.