SAS and SPSS Statistical Program Files for
the Appeals Court Database

The following are the actual data and program files for both SPSS and SAS (with explanatory comments throughout). Users can cut and paste the appropriate code.  Also included are the documentation for the Appeals Court Database, and the Table of Weights to weight the cases. 

All instructions assume that users are utilizing SAS or SPSS on a Microsoft Windows based system.  If the user is on any other platform (UNIX, Linux, OpenVMS, etc), please ask your system administrator for platform-specific methods.

The statistical files have comments throughout that are indicated by the following:

/* SAS files have explanatory comments bracketed between these characters */

COMMENT SPPS files have explanatory comments like this.

  1. Documentation (PDF format) -- it's a good idea to first download the documentation.  This will assist users in understanding the available variables in the Appeals Court Dataset.
  2. Datasets -- Then, download the actual data in the appropriate format.  Do this by simply clicking the links below to download the file. Be sure to save the file to your computer's "C" drive in a folder called: C:\APPCT_DB
    1. SAS Format  (1.8MB) 
      1. Self-extracting file for Microsoft Windows Users
      2. ZIP File for all other platforms
    2. SPSS Format (1.4MB) 
      1. Self-extracting file for Microsoft Windows Users
      2. ZIP File for all other platforms
    3. ASCII Format  (1.7MB)
      1. Self-extracting file for Microsoft Windows Users
      2. ZIP File for all other platforms
    4. Creating Statistical Datasets from Portable Files (both formats).  After downloading the data in the appropriate format, it is necessary to recreate the data into statistical datasets.


    Note: The files have been zipped (compressed) to reduce size and download time. For the self-extracting files, simply double-click the file and click Unzip to extract the file to the default location.  For users of platforms other than Microsoft Windows, please contact your system administrator for assistance.

    Note: After you download the files, please be sure the SAS file is named "ctasas.xpt" and the SPSS file is named "cta96.por" (This should happen automatically).

    1. Table of Weights.  The database does not represent a single random sample of all published appeals' court decisions.  But each case can be weighted according to the proportion of the universe of cases contained in the particular circuit/year. This file is actually the data file to weight the cases.
      1. Programs for Sampling and Weighting the Cases (SAS or SPSS)
  3. Program Codes -- the following programs assumes the data has already been downloaded and extracted in the appropriate format ("ctasas.xpt" for the SAS file and "cta96.por" for the SPSS file).
    1. Changing the Unit of Analysis (SAS and SPSS) from judge to case.
    2. Converting the Data into a Smaller Subset of Data (SAS and SPSS) to save on computer space.
    3. Recoding Variables and Generating Cross Tabulations (SAS and SPSS)
    4. Generating Career Scores for Appellate Judges (SAS and SPSS)