The Songer Project
Appeals Courts Attributes Data
District Courts Attributes Data
This project, originally compiled by Gary Zuk, Deborah J. Barrow, and Gerard S. Gryski, was undertaken to compile a definitive database on the personal, social, economic, career and political attributes of judges who served on the United States Courts of Appeals from 1801 to 1994. Recent additions by Gerard Gryski and Gary Zuk have expanded the data: The Appeals Court Attribute dataset contains information on judges who served from 1801-2000 (and partial information on judges through 2004); and, the District Court Attribute dataset contains information on judges who served from 1789-2000 (and partial information on judges through 2004). Thanks to John Kastellec for providing the Songer ID codes to the District Court dataset, facilitating the combination of these data with the Songer Appeals Court Database.
The databases include conventional social background variables such as appointing president, religion, political party affiliation, education and prior experience. In addition, unique items are provided such as the temporal sequence of prior career experiences, the timing of and reason for leaving the bench, gender, race and ethnicity, position numbering analogous to the scheme used for the Supreme Court, American Bar Association rating, and net worth. The second objective of this project was to merge these data with the Appeals Court Database, compiled by Donald R. Songer, and therefore includes a unique identification number for each judge. The combined databases should enable scholars to explore 1) intra- and inter-circuit fluctuation in the distribution of social background characteristics, 2) generational and presidential cohort variation in these attributes and, 3) state and partisan control of seats.
Datasets are available in several formats. Note, all files have been zipped to reduce download time. If you do not have a program (such as WinZip or PKZip) please click here to download free software. Additionally, some Mac users may require the program Stuff-It Expander to open the datasets. If you do not have this program, please click here. Finally, all documentation is provided in Adobe pdf format. To get a free version of Adobe Acrobat please click here.
Don Songer Project
349 Gambrell Hall
Columbia SC 29208