William Gordon (Lafayette College)
It has long been recognized that justices’ personal beliefs and policy preferences shape the ways they view constitutional law. In this project, digital tools, like MALLET and a web scraper built using Python, are used to look at whether or not ideologically liberal and conservative justices have differences in themes that appear in their majority opinions. To do so, a topic modeling analysis of majority opinions by Justice Sotomayor, Justice Scalia, and Justice Kennedy was done of their opinions since 2009, obtained using Harold Spaeth’s Supreme Court Database and caselaw.findlaw.com.
William Gordon is a senior at Lafayette College who is majoring in English and Government & Law, with a minor in Economics. He is passionate about law, politics, and journalism. In his spare time, he skis, plays guitar, and reads too much.