Thanks a lot to Jason and the other editors for inviting me to blog this week. I plan to spend my time here tapping the collective wisdom of the blogosphere about what I view as a number of important questions. I'll also spend some time blogging about various tools we should all be using in our empirical work.
I'll start with this. One of things political scientists oftentimes include in statistical models of judicial decision making is a measure of "case complexity." In the Supreme Court context, the standard measure, as coded by Harold Spaeth, is to label a case "complex" if there was more than one legal issue or provision at play in the case. This may be not be an accurate measure of complexity. Many cases involve, say, a first amendment free speech issue as well as a due process or establishment of religion issue. Is this more complex than a tax case? Securities? Telecommunications? Surely not.
Any thoughts about how to systematically measure case complexity? Perhaps looking at the number of issues cited or the level of factual complexity might help. How could we do better?