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Template:Infobox SCOTUS case

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Assistance

If you find yourself confused in how to use this template or need assistance, please feel free to leave comments on the talk page.

Usage

This template aims to standardize U.S. Supreme Court cases. It's a very versatile template that includes features such as: argue dates that are automatically formatted correctly, citations that include a link to the text of the case, and accurate court membership with a much lower chance of error.

For a detailed description of this template's usage, see below. For information about commonly inserted information, refer to this guide. The template is part of WikiProject U.S. Supreme Court cases.

Parameters

Parameter names shown opposite in italics indicate parameters that form external links.

Optional parameters

Most parameters in this template are optional. Leaving parameters such as ReargueDate, Concurrence5, or Overruled blank is OK and will not change or alter anything in the template. Parameters such as Majority, JoinMajority, etc. are all optional. Any fields that need to be added can be done so easily – either add the code if you feel comfortable doing so, or contact me and I will add the fields you need.

Commonly needed Uncommonly needed
{{Infobox SCOTUS case
  |Litigants=
  |ArgueDate=
  |ArgueYear=
  |DecideDate=
  |DecideYear=
  |FullName=
  |USVol=
  |USPage=
  |ParallelCitations=

  |Docket=XX-XXX

  |OralArgument=http://www.oyez.org/cases/YYYY-YYYY/YYYY/YY-Docket/argument/
  |OralReargument=http://www.oyez.org/cases/YYYY-YYYY/YYYY/YY-Docket/reargument/
  |OpinionAnnouncement=http://www.oyez.org/cases/YYYY-YYYY/YYYY/YY-Docket/opinion/

  |Prior=
  |Subsequent=
  |Holding=
  |SCOTUS=YEAR–YEAR    <!-- &endash; preferred, hyphen accepted -->
  |Majority=
  |JoinMajority=
  |Concurrence=
  |JoinConcurrence=
  |Concurrence2=
  |JoinConcurrence2=
  |Concurrence/Dissent=
  |JoinConcurrence/Dissent=
  |Dissent=
  |JoinDissent=
  |Dissent2=
  |JoinDissent2=
  |LawsApplied=
}}
{{Infobox SCOTUS case
  |Litigants=
  |Litigants2=
  |Litigants3=
  |Litigants4=
  |Litigants5=
  |OriginalJurisdiction=yes
  |ArgueDate=
  |ArgueDateA=
  |ArgueDateB=
  |ArgueYear=
  |ReargueDate=
  |ReargueDate2=
  |ReargueDateA=
  |ReargueDateB=
  |ReargueDateA2=
  |ReargueDateB2=
  |ReargueYear=
  |ReargueYear2=
  |SubmitDate=
  |SubmitYear=
  |DecideDate=
  |DecideYear=
  |FullName=
  |Docket=
  |Docket2=
  |Docket3=
  |Docket4=
  |Docket5=
  |OralArgument=
  |ParallelCitations=
  |USVol=
  |USPage=
  |Claim=
  |Prior=
  |Procedural=
  |Subsequent=
  |QuestionsPresented=
  |Holding=
  |SCOTUS=YEAR-YEAR
  |PerCuriam=yes
  |Majority=
  |JoinMajority=
  |Majority2=
  |JoinMajority2=
  |Majority3=
  |JoinMajority3=
  |Plurality=
  |JoinPlurality=
  |Concurrence=
  |JoinConcurrence=
  |Concurrence2=
  |JoinConcurrence2=
  |Concurrence3=
  |JoinConcurrence3=
  |Concurrence4=
  |JoinConcurrence4=
  |Concurrence5=
  |JoinConcurrence5=
  |Concurrence/Dissent=
  |JoinConcurrence/Dissent=
  |Concurrence/Dissent2=
  |JoinConcurrence/Dissent2=
  |Concurrence/Dissent3=
  |JoinConcurrence/Dissent3=
  |Concurrence/Dissent4=
  |JoinConcurrence/Dissent4=
  |Concurrence/Dissent5=
  |JoinConcurrence/Dissent5=
  |Concurrence/Dissent6=
  |JoinConcurrence/Dissent6=
  |Concurrence/Dissent7=
  |JoinConcurrence/Dissent7=
  |Concurrence/Dissent8=
  |JoinConcurrence/Dissent8=
  |Dissent=
  |JoinDissent=
  |ConcurrenceDissent=
  |Dissent2=
  |JoinDissent2=
  |ConcurrenceDissent2=
  |Dissent3=
  |JoinDissent3=
  |ConcurrenceDissent3=
  |Dissent4=
  |JoinDissent4=
  |ConcurrenceDissent4=
  |Dissent5=
  |JoinDissent5=
  |ConcurrenceDissent5=
  |NotParticipating=
  |Seriatim=
  |Seriatim2=
  |Seriatim3=
  |Seriatim4=
  |Seriatim5=
  |LawsApplied=
  |Superseded=
  |Overruled=
  |Overturned previous case=
}}

Argue dates

Most cases will only need to use ArgueDate, ArgueYear, DecideDate, and DecideYear. Only cases that have more than one argue date need to use ArgueDateA and ArgueDateB. ReargueDate and ReargueYear should only be used if there was a reargue date.

Citations

USVol and USPage

Cases should be cited using the U.S. Reports volume and page number in the USVol and USPage fields, respectively. If the case does not yet have a page assigned, use "|USPage=___" (three underscores).

ParallelCitations

The ParallelCitations field is for additional (parallel) citations for the same case (e.g. "|ParallelCitations=111 S. Ct. 1282; 113 L. Ed. 2d 358").

Docket

For newer cases (those decided after 2000 or so), you should enter the Supreme Court docket number in the Docket field (e.g. "|Docket=06-1234").

Prior history

This field can contain citations to prior decisions in the case, in trial court or lower appellate courts, or prior decisions by the subject court; these should be preceded by a two to four word description of the ruling—this (together with the subsequent history, following) is merely the bare bones procedural history of the case—what happened when at what court. Please use the citation only for the preferred court reporter (not all parallel citations) to reduce length. If unreported (as with most criminal convictions, for example), list the ruling, the court, and the date.

Subsequent history

This field can contain citations to or general descriptions of subsequent decisions by lower courts after a remand or vacation, or by the same court, as in a denial of rehearing, or continuing proceedings in a trial court.

Holding

A very brief (one or two sentence) description of what the central ruling of the case was. This may or may not be fact-specific, depending on how broadly the court's opinion was worded; follow with a short statement of what the specific outcome of the case was.

Court membership

To add the court membership, you need to put in the key from the list below which covers the relevant year in which the court issued the case decision, not heard oral argument. This will automatically fill in the members of the court for the appropriate year(s). The syntax is "|SCOTUS=yyyy[c][–yyyy]". That is, it takes one of the three forms:

  • "|SCOTUS=1939" for a single-year composition
  • "|SCOTUS=1969b" for the rare case of more than one composition within a year
  • "|SCOTUS=1940–1941" for the usual range of years, which should be separated by an endash per WP:YEAR, but a hyphen is also acceptable.

Court composition key

To view the make-up of each Court, see List of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States by court composition.

1789–1844 1845–1903 1903–1956 1956–present
  • 1789–1792
  • 1792–1793
  • 1793
  • 1793–1795
  • 1795
  • 1796–1798
  • 1798–1799
  • 1799
  • 1799–1800
  • 1800
  • 1801–1804
  • 1804–1806
  • 1807
  • 1807–1810
  • 1810–1811
  • 1811–1812
  • 1812–1823
  • 1823–1826
  • 1826–1828
  • 1828–1829
  • 1830–1834
  • 1835
  • 1836–1837
  • 1837–1838
  • 1838–1841
  • 1842–1843
  • 1843–1844
  • 1845–1846
  • 1846–1851
  • 1851–1852
  • 1853–1857
  • 1858–1860
  • 1860–1861
  • 1862–1863
  • 1863–1864
  • 1864–1865
  • 1865–1867
  • 1867–1870
  • 1870–1872
  • 1873
  • 1874–1877
  • 1877–1880
  • 1881
  • 1882–1887
  • 1888
  • 1888–1889
  • 1890
  • 1891–1892
  • 1892–1893
  • 1893
  • 1894–1895
  • 1896–1897
  • 1898–1902
  • 1902–1903
  • 1903–1906
  • 1906–1909
  • 1910
  • 1911
  • 1912–1914
  • 1914–1916
  • 1916
  • 1916–1921
  • 1921–1922
  • 1922
  • 1923
  • 1923–1925
  • 1925–1930
  • 1930
  • 1930–1932
  • 1932–1937
  • 1937–1938
  • 1938
  • 1939
  • 1940–1941
  • 1941–1942
  • 1943–1945
  • 1945–1946
  • 1946–1949
  • 1949–1953
  • 1953–1954
  • 1955–1956
  • 1956–1957
  • 1957–1958
  • 1958–1962
  • 1962
  • 1962–1965
  • 1965–1967
  • 1967–1969
  • 1969
  • 1969b
  • 1970–1971
  • 1972–1975
  • 1975–1981
  • 1981–1986
  • 1986–1987
  • 1988–1990
  • 1990–1991
  • 1991–1993
  • 1993–1994
  • 1994–2005
  • 2005–2006
  • 2006–2009
  • 2009–2010
  • 2010–present

Case opinions

All the written opinions handed down in the case are listed in the following categories of majority, concurrent, etc. Always follow the designations used in the reported decision.

List all justices under these headings only by their last name, as their full names are already given above in the court membership section.

Note: List at the end, after all opinions, if a judge was on the court at the time the decision was rendered, yet did not participate in the case because of a recent appointment, recusal, or other absence. Example: "Kennedy took no part in the consideration or decision of the case".

Majority

The justice who authored the majority opinion.

Joined by

The justices who joined in the majority/plurality opinion. Early cases (18th – mid-19th century) may not list who has joined in the majority—unless they are listed as the author of a separate concurrence or dissent, or as joining such a separate opinion, list them as joining the majority.[clarification needed] If the decision was unanimous, simply say that it was joined by a "unanimous court" rather than relisting every judge.

Concurrences, concurrence/dissents, dissents

List all concurrences, followed by concurrence/dissents, followed by dissents. Within each grouping, try to order the opinions by the seniority of the authoring justice, with the chief justice always considered the most senior regardless of actual length of tenure.

Concurrence/dissent

These will usually be labeled in the original opinion as "concurring in part and dissenting in part". Follow these designations, because from the text of the opinion alone it is sometimes difficult to tell concurrences from dissents from partial concurrences/partial dissents.

Laws applied

These are citations to the constitutional and statutory provisions that were the primary basis for the decision only. They do NOT include case law, nor every law that happens to be cited in the case or that is rejected as inapplicable with minimal discussion.

Manual of Style

This is a proposed manual of style. Its contents are based on the infoboxes found in various case articles, but notably the styles used in the three featured-article cases: Dred Scott v. Sandford, Roe v. Wade, and Lawrence v. Texas. This manual attempts to add consistency throughout all of the case articles. This manual's aim is to focus on the style that is currently widely used throughout United States Supreme Court cases. It is in no way a final draft, or set in stone. Changes should be made to it, and then implemented in the different articles.

The manual follows the template's layout. All parameter names are in bold (e.g. Litigants). Cases inside a single set of brackets [ ] are examples where a certain item can be seen "in action."

General notes

Formatting is done automatically. There is no need to use wiki markup ('' or ''') or HTML (<b> or <i>) for most parameters. Exceptions are: Prior, Subsequent, Superseded, Overruled, and Overturned previous case.

Litigants

In almost all cases, Litigants will be the same as the name of the article, often also known as the short name of the case found at the top of the printed pages of the case [Dred Scott v. Sandford].

Argue date

Most cases will simply need to use ArgueDate and ArgueYear. If the case was argued over more than one day, ArgueDateA and ArgueDateB can be employed. Unless the argue dates span over more than one month, the month's name should only be used once [Eisenstadt v. Baird]. If a case was reargued, the same style should be used [Champion v. Ames]. Also, the full name of the month should always be used.

Older cases may not list an argue date. Thorough research can generally produce one, but if a date can not be found, leave the parameters blank. Other old cases will have a submitted date; in these instances, use SubmitDate and SubmitYear [Nix v. Hedden].

Decide date

There is only ever one DecideDate and DecideYear.

Full name

The full case name should try to include the first and last names of all parties and whatever other information is included in the full name of the case [Bowers v. Hardwick]. For example, Michael J. Bowers, Attorney General of Georgia v. Michael Hardwick, et al. If that information cannot be found, using a shorter name of the case is permissible.

Any time "et al." is used, there should always be a comma preceding it.

Volume and page

USVol and USPage are the United States Reports volume number and starting page on which the case was reported.

Docket number

Newer cases should use Docket (e.g. "|Docket=05-184") [Hamdan v. Rumsfeld].

Citations

The U.S. Reports citation will be generated automatically from the USVol and USPage fields. Most cases should include additional citations such as the Supreme Court Reporter (S. Ct.) in the ParallelCitations field. You should not begin this field with anything other than the next citation; a semicolon or another space is redundant [Loving v. Virginia]. Each citation should be separated by a semicolon and a single space, never any other type of punctuation (e.g. "|ParallelCitations=87 S. Ct. 1817; 18 L. Ed. 2d 1010; 1967 U.S. LEXIS 1082").

Newer cases that have yet to be assigned a specific volume and page should use "|USPage=___" (three underscores). The correct volume that a case will be in when it's assigned its page can be found on the Supreme Court's website; it will be on top of every odd-numbered page of the PDF slip opinion except the first. Other citations will be available and should be separated by a semi-colon and a single space [eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C.].

Prior history

Prior is the most lenient field. The information here should be whatever you can gather. Sometimes that will be only a short statement [Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha] or may be more in-depth [Roe v. Wade]. All formatting here must be added by the user. Prior should never end in a period, comma, or semi-colon. An exception can be made if a period is used as part of an abbreviation.

Subsequent history

Subsequent is optional. Newer cases most likely won't have a subsequent history. Older cases may never have gone any further after being decided by the Supreme Court. A simple "None" can be used in this instance.[clarification needed] Once again, Subsequent should never end in a period, comma, or semi-colon. An exception can be made if a period is used as part of an abbreviation and all formatting here must be added by the user.

Holding

Holding consists of a few sentences describing the Court's ruling. It should be concise and it should always end in a period.

Court membership

SCOTUS contains the court composition years in which the case was decided [Lawrence v. Texas]. Use the key above and fill in the code for the relevant years during which the case was decided. This will automatically fill in the members of the court for the appropriate year(s). The syntax is "|SCOTUS=yyyy[c][–yyyy]". That is, it takes one of the three forms:

  • "|SCOTUS=1939" for a single-year composition
  • "|SCOTUS=1969b" for the rare case of more than one composition within a year
  • "|SCOTUS=1940–1941" for the usual range of years, which should be separated by an endash per WP:YEAR, but a hyphen is also acceptable


Case opinions

Laws applied

Previous cases

Superseded

Superseded is used when a later case partially changes the ruling in an earlier case. For example, the case of Ring v. Arizona superseded Walton v. Arizona, as it partially overruled the previous case. The earlier case gets the |Superseded= parameter set to the italicized, wikilinked named of the later case (as if the parameter were actually named "Superseded by", which is the heading that appears in the Infobox).

For example, in Walton v. Arizona, we set |Superseded=''[[Ring v. Arizona]]'' .

Note: There is currently no equivalent "Supersedes" parameter to be set in the later article.

Overruled

Overruled may be used where a later case changes the findings in an earlier one. As noted above in the Ring case, it also overruled Spaziano v. Florida. The earlier case gets the |Overruled= parameter set to the italicized, wikilinked named of the later case (as if the parameter were actually named "Overruled by", which is the heading that appears in the Infobox).

For example, in Spaziano v. Florida, we set |Overruled=''[[Ring v. Arizona]]'' .

Note: There is currently no equivalent "Overrules" parameter to be set in the later article.

Overturned previous case

If the holding of a case is completely changed by a later case, the original case is said to be overturned. Unlike |Overrules= and |Supersedes=, in the later case article, the |Overturned previous case= parameter should be set to the value of the earlier case, including italicizing and wikilinking markup (as if the parameter were actually named "Overturns").

For example, the Supreme Court overturned a prior case when it announced in Lawrence v. Texas that it had been wrong in deciding the original case of Bowers v. Hardwick. In the Lawrence v. Texas article, we set |Overturned previous case=''[[Bowers v. Hardwick]]''.

Note: There is currently no equivalent "Overturned by" parameter to be set in the earlier article.

See also