Vol. 12, No. 6, March 2010
U.S. Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court's official website provides researchers with docket information, court orders, court rules, case handling guides, public information, etc. Most notable, however, are the full-text transcripts of oral arguments, available since October 2, 2000, and information available through the Opinions link. Slip opinions are posted within hours of issuance. Through the Opinions link, researchers can access the slip opinions and sliplists, which provide the U.S. Reports volume and part numbers for a particular preliminary print. The entire contents of the bound volumes of the U.S. Reports are available beginning with volume 502 (October Term 1991). While the Supreme Court's website does not provide a full retrospective collection of its decisions, a Case Citation Finder provides a complete listing of all cases, setting forth the official citations for every signed, per curiam, and in-chambers opinion published (or soon to be published) in the U.S. Reports.
The Supreme Court Historical Society is dedicated to the collection and preservation of the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. This highly informative website will provide the researcher with a detailed view into the institution, the cases heard there, and the historical details surrounding the cases. Under the Publications link, the researcher will find an archived annual collection of scholarly articles on the Court's history entitled the Journal of Supreme Court History (formerly known as the Yearbook until 1990). The articles are in full-text from 1976 to 1991 with tables of contents available for the 1992 to 2009 issues. The link entitled History of the Court contains information on all former and current Supreme Court Justices and Courts. Two video documentaries FDR & The Court-Packing Controversy and Five Justices & The Grand Commission: Deciding the 1876 Election are also found here. The How the Court Works link provides the researcher with an overview of the staff, procedures, and mechanisms of the Supreme Court. Additionally, the researcher will find an audio and text archive of notable arguments and opinions and a useful pathfinder on the subject of performing research on the documents of the Supreme Court.
The LII offers full-text Supreme Court opinions from 1990 to the present, searchable by subject, citation, name, or date. A collection of select historic opinions is also available, organized by author, topic, and party. Researchers can locate new opinions on the day of the decision, and can subscribe via email to the LII Bulletin, which distributes a synopsis or syllabi of new decisions within hours after the information is released.
Most useful on FindLaw are the U.S. Supreme Court's Records and Briefs from the October 1999 term through the October 2006 term, organized alphabetically by case name. This site includes U.S. Supreme Court decisions from 1893 to the present, in a searchable database using name, citation, or full-text search. Researchers select "Cases citing this case: Supreme Court" or "Cases citing this case: Circuit Courts" to locate other Supreme Court or Courts of Appeals cases citing to the found case.
Oyez provides access to oral arguments presented before the U.S. Supreme Court in audio format. Researchers can listen to attorneys argue their cases by using Real Audio. Recordings currently date back to 1961 for selected cases. The complete project will extend back to 1955, the year when the courtroom recorder was installed. These cases can be searched by case name, topic, citation, or date. New audio files appear on Oyez about ten months after the term in which the case was heard.