iamdanw
Liptak’s story spotlighted a recent study by Zittrain and Albert which found that 50% of links in United States Supreme Court opinions were broken. As its name suggests, the Supreme Court is the highest federal court in the United States…it is the final interpreter of our Constitution. These opinions in turn document the decisions of the Supreme Court, and have increasingly referenced content on the Web for context, which becomes important later for interpretation. 50% of the URLs found in the opinions suffered from what the authors call reference rot. Reference rot includes situations of link rot (404 Not Found and other HTTP level errors), but it also includes when the URL appears to technically work, but the content that was cited is no longer available. The point was dramatically and humorously illustrated by the New York Times since someone had bought one of the lapsed domains and put up a message for Justice Alito