Skip to main content

About Donald R. Songer

Professor Songer has wide ranging interests in the area of public law. His primary teaching interests include comparative courts, judicial politics and constitutional law. He also serves as the coach of the USC undergraduate Mock Trial team. Much of his research has explored judicial decision making appellate courts, especially the U.S. Courts of Appeals and more recently the top appellate courts in other common law countries.
He was the principal investigator for a seven year, $800,000 project funded by the National Science Foundation to create an extensive multi-user data base on the Courts of Appeals. The first phase was archived at the ICPSR in the summer of 1997. The Courts of Appeals Data Base contains data on a random sample of more than 19,000 decisions of the courts of appeals from 1925 through 1996. He was also one of four principal investigators for The High Courts Judicial Database, a public access database created by Stacia L. Haynie, Reginald S. Sheehan, Donald R. Songer, and C. Neal Tate with the support of grants provided by the Law and Social Science Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide an extensive data base of the decisions of the top appellate courts in ten countries with English common law roots. His particular focus in this project is on the decisions and judges of the Supreme Court of Canada and the Law Lords in England. From this project he has recently written a book on the Supreme Court of Canada and is actively at work on two books that provide comparative analyses of the behavior of judges on appellate courts in ten nations. Other recent work has included the analysis of the effects of gender on judicial decision making and the role of courts in the expansion of human rights.


Olin D. Johnston Professor of Political Science, University of South Carolina - Columbia

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Judicial Behavior & Process, Appellate Court Decision Making, Comparative Courts, Constitutional Law, and Mock Trial

Enter a valid date range.

Enter a valid date range.

Honors and Awards

  • USC Educational Foundation Award for Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities, 2002 Winner.
  • Mortar Board Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1993, 2003, 2008.
  • Pi Sigma Alpha award for Best Paper at the 1986 meeting of the Southern Political Science Association.

Contact Information

318 Gambrell Hall
Columbia SC 29208
Phone: (803)777-6801
Fax: (803)777-8255


Articles (12)

Books (2)

Book Reviews (2)