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Supreme Court Research - Melanie Cofield  

A guide to help you navigate the many online resources providing access to the workings of the United States Supreme Court.
Last Updated: Sep 10, 2009 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Summarized opinions

The Tarlton Law Library monitors cases pending before the Supreme Court and compiles an archive of the opinions issued and the certiorari petitions granted during each Term.


Oyez podcasts

Recent audio recordings and transcripts from Oyez, the multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States and its work.

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Orders and Opinions

The orders and journal page of the Supreme Court's web site provides a link to the most recent orders issued by the Court. Review the orders of the most recent Supreme Court Term to determine what cases have been accepted by the Court this Term and what orders have been granted in pending cases.

The opinions page of the Supreme Court's web site provides the first published version of all Court opinions since the 2001 Term. The most recent opinions can be found by following the link to the "latest slip opinions."


Oral Arguments

Oyez is an excellent resource for listening to oral arguments before the Supreme Court. This collection maintains recordings of selected arguments from 1955 through 1995 and all arguments from 1995 through the end of the last completed Term.

Transcripts of oral arguments starting with the October 2000 Term are available on the argument transcript page of the Supreme Court's web site. Beginning with the October 2006 Term, the Court makes transcripts available on the same day the argument is heard by the Court.

The Lexis/Nexis United States Supreme Court Transcripts database has transcripts of oral arguments from the October 1979 Term to date. The database identifier is USTRAN.

Westlaw SCT-ORALARG database has transcripts of oral arguments from the 1990-91 Term to date.

Selected transcripts of oral arguments are available in the print collection entitled: Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law.
Tarlton call number: KF 101.9 L35

Since the October 1952 Term, transcripts of Supreme Court oral arguments have been available in microfiche in the set entitled The Complete Oral Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Tarlton call number: Microfiche KF 101.8 C65




  • US Supreme Court Records and Briefs, 1832-1978,provides electronic, full text briefs from 1832 to 1978.
  • Findlaw provides pdf versions of Supreme Court petition and merit briefs since the October 1999 Term.
  • ABA Preview of Supreme Court Cases maintains merit briefs of the Supreme Court since the October 2003 Term.
  • Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) publishes pdf versions of all briefs submitted by the United States to the Supreme Court. Briefs are posted soon after they are filed with the Court.
  • Yale University - Curiae Project publishes pdf versions of briefs of over 1,000 selected Supreme Court cases.
  • The Lexis/Nexis United States Supreme Court briefs database has merit briefs from the 1979 Term to date and selected petition-related briefs.
  • Westlaw SCT-BRIEFS database has merit briefs from the 1990 Term to date and Amicus briefs from 1995 to date. The SCT-PETITIONS database has petition-related briefs for granted petitions from 1990 to date and denied petiitons from 1995 to date.

In the Library:

  • Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law.
    Tarlton call number: KF 101.9 L35
  • All Supreme Court briefs are available in microfiche in a set entitled: U. S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs.
    • Tarlton Microfiche Cabinets 1-6 and Microfilm Cabinets 19-21.

Docket information

Docket information includes notices of the dates of each item filed with the Supreme Court, as well as the names of all parties and lawyers involved with the litigation. Use the docket to learn the status of a pending case. Additionally, a researcher my obtain documents that are not yet available online or in print by contacting the lawyers litigating the specific case. Find the lawyers' contact information by reviewing the docket sheet for the litigation.

Supreme Court docket sheets and other docket information are available on the following web sites:


SCOTUSblog news

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Supreme Court news sites

Findlaw - Supreme Court news and headlines.

Legal Information Institute Supreme Court Case Updates - news about pending Supreme Court cases.

United States Supreme Court Monitor - part of American Lawyer Media's web site

Willamette Law Online -same-day summaries of cases accepted by the Court, news about oral arguments, and opinions issued by the Court.

Jurist - news about Supreme Court issues.

Supreme Court Online - maintained by Duke Law School - summaries of pending cases, links to full text opinions and summaries of selected opinions.

On the Docket, published by Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism - news on the current and previous Supreme Court term.


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