Term of Court
This variable identifies the term in which the Court handed down its decision. For cases argued in one term and reargued and decided in the next, term indicates the latter.
Historically, the nature of how a term is defined has changed. Below is a listing of the more significant changes to the term definitions over time.
- 1791: First Monday in February (second session in August, dispensed with in 1802)
- Starting in 1827: term starts second Monday of January
- Starting in 1844: term starts first Monday of December, still called the 1845 term
- Starting in 1850: court starts calling it the December 1850 term; there are thus two 1850 terms in the dataset. The January 1850 term (50 U.S.) and the December 1850 term (51 U.S.).
- Starting in 1873: second Monday in October
- Starting in 1917: first Monday in October
Voting & Opinion Variables