Today I would like to focus on a topic that has been the center of my research agenda for the past decade -- analysis of Supreme Court oral arguments and how these proceedings affect the Court's decision making. In particular, I would like to bring to the attention of our readers a database that Jerry Goldman (Northwestern University) and I are working on (with Brian MacWhinney of Carnegie Mellon and Mark Liberman of Penn). This database, will include all audio the Court has released beginning with the Warren Court up through the present day. Simultaneously, we are appending sentence aligned transcripts to the audio so that the text and audio are fully searchable.
Additionally, we have created software that will allow users to search, code, and save data from the arguments or opinion announcements. We envision these data being used across disciplines -- from political science, to law, linguistics, history, and rhetoric. Already we have collected cases back through the early 1990s and we already have audio files back to 1979. These are in the process of being digitized and appended to their transcripts. In short, hope to provide thousands of hours of transcripted audio that scholars can use to analyze the Court's arguments.
As an outlet for scholarship using these data Jerry and I are now editing "The Oyez Series on Oral Arguments" with books series with the University of Michigan Press. We encourage and welcome any and all ideas for books or edited volumes that would use our data . If you have ideas, or would like to learn more about the data and access to it, please contact me at [email protected]