Monday, September 23, 2013

Links used in Supreme Court opinions nearly half rotted away

There’s a “disease” on the internet that plagues any entity that relies on other sources and exists for long enough. It’s called link rot, and thankfully it’s not contagious. It happens over time when links on a website or within documents no longer work. Websites change. They get removed. They get archived. For whatever reason, they disappear. The Supreme Court opinions accumulated over the years are suffering link rot of their own with nearly half of them already dead.

Supreme Court opinions have come down with a bad case of link rot. According to a new study, 49 percent of the hyperlinks in Supreme Court decisions no longer work.

This can sometimes be amusing. A link in a 2011 Supreme Court opinion about violent video games by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. now leads to a mischievous error message.


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