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Lone Dissent

This project highlights "lone dissents" from U.S. Supreme Court opinions.

For more information, see the home page from the project's website,

Building Data Files

See our blog post "Building Data Files" for details. All the built data files, including the source data files that were used to build them, have been checked into the project.

Adding More Lone Dissents (aka "Loners") By Term

Our gulpfile has a Gulp task named loners that automatically adds lone dissents from any or all of a set of court terms to our internal data files, lonerDecisions.json and lonerJustices.json, and then builds new term and index pages. For example, to build the pages for the 2017 court term:

gulp loners --term=2017

The data comes from decisions.json, which was previously created by another another Gulp task named decisions. That task processed all the decision records in decisions.csv and generated the JSON file that the other tasks rely on for decision data.

lonerDecisions.json also indicates where the PDF containing the dissent is located, along with a page number inside the PDF. For example, the dissent in "543 U.S. 50" is buried in Volume 543 of the U.S. Supreme Court's Bound Volumes. Moreover, the opinion doesn't actually start on the 50th page of the PDF, thanks to a lengthy table of contents. And even if the opinion did start on the cited page, the dissent is always buried at the end of the opinion, so a page number for the dissent is almost always required.

So, the source of the PDF, the page number of the opinion, and the page number of the dissent, should be indicated by three additional properties (pdfSource, pdfPage, and pdfPageDissent) in lonerDecisions.json. For example:

"usCite": "543 U.S. 50",
"sctCite": "125 S. Ct. 460",
"ledCite": "160 L. Ed. 2d 389",
"lexisCite": "2004 U.S. LEXIS 7979",
"pdfSource": "scotusBound",
"pdfPage": 252,
"pdfPageDissent": 272,

In cases where the opinion (and possibly the dissent) begin on the first page of the PDF, the pdfPage (and pdfPageDissent) properties may be omitted.


Lone Dissents and other trivia from the U.S. Supreme Court



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