Law Library Stacks

Paper

Records and Briefs of the United States Supreme Court, Law Library Bound Collection (1832-present): The Law Library is a depository for print US Supreme Court records and briefs. For a list of other depository libraries, visit http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/briefsource.aspx. When requesting items via the online catalog, use LC Call No. KF101.9. R43, include the US Reports citation (e.g., 432 US 61), and “Records & Briefs.”

  • Between 1832-1853, the U.S. Supreme Court was required to print only the transcripts of records for a case.
  • Due to the fragile condition of the older print collection, records and briefs related to cases in volumes 1-226 of US Reports (1754–1912) should be requested in-person at the Reference Desk from our Microfiche collection. LC Call No. 93-10014 (LL).
  • Unbound Collection: Records and briefs from the three to four most recent US Supreme Court terms are located behind the Law Library Reference Desk and may be requested, in-person, by docket number (e.g., 13-422). Materials are received approximately one week after submission to the Supreme Court and bound when the corresponding US Reports volume is printed.

United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers’ Edition (Michie): Summaries of attorneys’ briefs for selected US Supreme Court decisions are published in United States Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers’ Edition.  Beginning with the second series of Lawyers’ Edition, briefs of counsel are printed in a separate section at the end of each bound volume.  LC Call No. KF101.A313

Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law (University Publications of America): This ongoing publication reprints the records, briefs, and arguments for selected major constitutional cases from 1793–present.  LC Call No. KF101.8.K87.

Antitrust Law: Major Briefs and Oral Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1955 Term–1975 Term (University Publications of America). LC Call No. KF1640.A68 1979.

Oral Arguments Before the Supreme Court of the United States (1979-present): Transcripts of Supreme Court oral arguments beginning with the 1977–1978 term.  Include term of decision and docket number in request (e.g., 2012 Term & Docket 12-543).  LC Call No. KF101.9.I5.

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Microform

United States Supreme Court Records & Briefs [microform] (1832-present): Request in person at Law Library Reference Desk; need US Reports citation, Term, Docket Number.

1832-1915

Microform (Scholarly Resources)

Call number: Microfilm LL-043

1832-1869: Full opinion cases only

1870-1915: All cases

Between 1832-1860 (US Reports volumes 31-65), records and briefs organized by term of decision and docket number. The first volume of each term contains an alphabetical table of cases.

Between 1871-1915 (US Reports volumes 79-241), records and briefs organized by US Reports citation.

1916-1972

Microfiche (Microcard Editions)

Call number: 93-10014 (LL)

1916-1955: Full opinion cases only

1956-1972: All cases

1974-1983

Microfiche (Bureau of National Affairs)

Call number: 93-10014 (LL)

1974: Full opinion cases only

1975-1983: All cases

Organized by docket number

1984-1988

Microfiche (Congressional Info. Service)

Call number: 93-10014 (LL)

All cases

Organized by docket number

1992-present

Microfiche (Microform Inc.)

Call number: 93-10014 (LL)

All cases

Organized by docket number

Oral Arguments 1952–1982 [microform]: Oral arguments organized by Supreme Court term and then by docket number.  Request at Law Library Reference Desk. LC Call No. 85/10002(LL).

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Other Sources

American Bar Association, Preview of the United States Supreme Court Cases: Publication providing analysis of cases to be reviewed by the Supreme Court, prior to oral argument.  Archived issues of Preview, but not current issues, are available free via the ABA website, http://www.americanbar.org/publications/preview_home/preview_archives.html. Current issues of the print publication are available at Library of Congress (LC Call No. KF4547.8 .P7).  The site also provides access to merit and amicus briefs for cases slated for oral argument for the current term and past terms (2003-present), http://www.americanbar.org/publications/preview_home.html.

National Archives: The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), maintains the Records of the Supreme Court of the United States (Record Group 267)(1772-1997; bulk 1790-1984), http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/267.html. This webpage provides a general overview of the collection and related finding aids. For assistance, contact the National Archives at 1-866-272-6272 or http://www.archives.gov/contact/inquire-form.html.

Office of the Solicitor General, US Dept. of Justice (1982–present; coverage varies): Includes all briefs filed by the Solicitor General, except responses to IFP ("in forma pauperis") cases from July 1998-present; Solicitor General merits briefs and responses from 1993-1996 and 1986-1990; and Solicitor General merits briefs from 1982-1985. The website provides additional information on omissions, arrangement, and formats, http://www.justice.gov/osg/supreme-court-briefs.  

Oral Argument Audio Transcripts: The audio recordings of all oral arguments heard by the Supreme Court of the United States are available to the public at the end of each argument week via the Court’s website (2010—present) and print transcripts are posted to the website on the day of argument (2000-present), http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/oral_arguments.aspx.

The Oyez Project, Chicago-Kent College of Law, a multimedia archive of Supreme Court of the United States work, is another source for audio recorded in the Supreme Court since the installation of the Court’s recording system in October 1955: http://www.oyez.org/about (click on “Cases” and then the particular case name to access a synopsis and a link to the oral argument). Only select early cases have audio available.

SCOTUSBlog: Posts merits case briefs (2007-present), http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/terms/  

US Supreme Court Records and Briefs, 1832–1978: This subscription database published by Gale (part of the Making of Modern Law series) includes a collection of over 350,000 full-text Supreme Court documents from 1832–1978.  It is available on-site in the Law Library Reading Room: http://eresources.loc.gov/record=e1000446.

Information on the Library’s collection of U.S. Federal Courts: Records and Briefs is available online at http://www.loc.gov/law/help/federal-courts.php

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For further assistance consult a reference librarian at the Law Library Reading Room Reference Desk by calling (202) 707-5080 or by using Ask a Librarian.

Last Updated: 05/01/2015