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School of Law

Mapping the Supreme Court

Example of a SCOTUS map

Prof. Starger has explained the basic theory and practice animating the SCOTUS Mapping Project in a series of short blog posts.

The Project has so far produced four "Visual Guides" to recent Supreme Court cases that combine a SCOTUS Map with brief explanatory text.

For a free full-color printout of the Windsor or Sebelius Visual Guides, please email Prof. Starger

The Supreme Court Mapping Project is an original software-driven initiative currently in Beta development. The project, under the direction of University of Baltimore School of Law Assistant Professor Colin Starger, seeks to use information design and software technology to enhance teaching, learning, and scholarship focused on Supreme Court precedent. Click here for a general-interest article about the project.

The SCOTUS Mapping Project has two distinct components:

  • Development of the Mapper software. This software enables users to create sophisticated interactive maps of Supreme Court doctrine by plotting relationships between majority, concurring and dissenting opinions. With the software, users can both visualize how different "lines" of Supreme Court opinions have evolved, and employ animation to make interactive presentations for audiences.
  • Building an extensive library of Supreme Court doctrinal maps. By highlighting the relationships between essential and influential Court opinions, these maps promote efficient learning and understanding of key doctrinal debates and can assist students, scholars, and practitioners alike. The library already includes maps of key regions of doctrine implicating due process, equal protection, the commerce power, the Fourth Amendment, and more. 

The SCOTUS Mapping Project is currently able to offer modest stipends for users to make maps to contribute to the library. For more information, please read this post