October 5, 2010
"Petition to Decision": A Digital Archive of Supreme Court Civil Rights Cases
Prof. David Achtenberg (UMKC) has rolled out the website Petition to Decision. From the announcement:
Petition to Decision is a comprehensive digital archive of all the available papers of the Supreme Court justices relating to selected civil rights cases. It may be interesting to those who study the internal workings of the Court as well as to those with a particular interest in civil rights litigation. The website, which contains as many as 1800 pages of documents per case, can be accessed at: http://www.petitiontodecision.com/
Petition to Decisionpresents an interactive timeline of the various cases, identifying every step in the justices’ decision-making process and linking each step to digital copies the relevant internal papers. A typical case file includes the pool memoranda regarding certiorari (together with annotations by the various justices and their clerks), notes prior to and during the cert conference, various notes and memoranda prior to oral argument, justices’ oral argument notes, justices’ records of what took place at the merits conference, miscellaneous memoranda to and from the justices discussing the case, and annotated drafts of the various opinions. (Click here for sample documents.) The timelines make it possible to study the Court’s handling of the cases from the filing of the petition for certiorari until announcement of the final decision. (Click here for an example of a timeline.)
For more information about Petition to Decision, you can reach Professor Achtenberg at AchtenbergD@umkc.edu.