Study Supreme Court Decision Making with Linked Data

Current social science researchers depend heavily on data to perform analytical studies. The multitude of problems studied by researchers today is so pervasive that it is difficult for scholars to collect needed information independently, format it in an easily processable way, check the accuracy of that information, and publish and maintain it in a reusable form. Moreover, as the complexity of analytic problems grows, data from different sources are needed to provide multiple perspectives to gain insights into the problems being studied.

In this paper, we show how linked data and other Semantic Web technologies can enhance the study of U.S. Supreme Court justices’ decision-making. We first describe challenges in current Supreme Court judicial research. Then the linked data technology is introduced, followed by how it addresses those challenges. Last, by illustrating our method with several examples, we demonstrate the advantages of this approach and identify future work.

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