Friday, June 12, 2009

Sunlight on the Supreme Court

Wow, I'm not sure how I missed this earlier. The Supreme Court is looking to revamp its web site, and the Sunlight Foundation did an extensive proposal. It's got a lot of great suggestions, complete with mockups. Recently I've been using the existing SCOTUS site to pull docket information (which works reasonably well), but there is certainly room for improvement. In particular, it would be great if the Court implemented an e-filing system and then made those filings publicly accessible. You can see the possibilities in the difference between the current docket pages and the proposed format.

The NYT article mentions PACER, but if the Court went that route I hope they'd have the sense not to lock the documents behind a pay wall. This effort by Sunlight is a case study in why the government should open data up so that third parties can help make it useful -- whether that's by building their own sites on the data or helping the government improve its own web presence. I'm happy to see Sunlight engaging the Judicial Branch.

1 comment:

Nisha Thompson said...

Thanks for the kind words about our redesign of the Supreme Court. You are absolutely right we need government to let us find better ways to use information that they collect. We can create great ways to improve the way we interact with information and how we improve our community.

You might also be interested in our other redesigns of , FEC , and EPA.

Organizer and Outreach Coordinator
Sunlight Foundation
1818 N Street NW
Washington DC 20036