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U.S. Supreme Court Research   Tags: federal research, u.s. supreme court  

Find information about the Court, its justices and its cases. Get opinions, briefs, argument transcripts, and the latest news.
Last Updated: Jun 30, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Filling a Vacancy

What about filling an open seat on the court? Visit the "Nominations" section of this guide for information on the process and links to the latest news.


About This Guide...

This guide covers: news about the Court; pending case information; opinions; briefs and petitions; oral argument transcripts; justices - biographies and other informationarticles and books about the court; and statistical information about the Court.

Interested in the process for replacing Justice Scalia? Visit the Nominations section of this guide.

For advice specific to your research, ask a research librarian at the Zief Library Research Desk, or call 415.422.6773.

Best Web Sites

  • SCOTUSblog
    Not just a blog! In addition to its respected news, analysis, and commentary, SCOTUSblog offers (or links to) recent opinions, oral argument transcripts and audio, and statistical information.
  • Supreme Court of the United States
    The official web site of the Court. Offers: same-day slip opinions; the current docket; oral argument transcripts; merit briefs (via the ABA); court rules; case handling guides; calendars and schedules; public and visitor information.
  • Oyez - U.S. Supreme Court media
    Not only is Oyez the "authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955," it also has: news; analysis; information about the court, its opinions, and its justices; and a Podcast of newly-added media.
  • Justia's U.S. Supreme Court Center
    Links to opinions, news, constitutional law blogs, and other resources on the Court.
  • Cornell Legal Information Institute's Supreme Court Collection
    Opinions and other information, such as orders, calendars, and case updates (including oral argument previews)
  • Supreme Court Historical Society
    Profiles of justices, historical sketches, documentaries, teaching materials, and selected content from the Journal of Supreme Court History.
  • Solicitor General of the United States
    The Solicitor General "supervise[s] and conduct[s] government litigation in the United States Supreme Court." The site includes Supreme Court briefs filed by the Solicitor General and historical information.

Best Supreme Court Practice Guide

If you have a case before the Supreme Court, or one you'd like to take to the Court, this is THE practice guide to consult. It covers strategy and tactics, all the ins and outs of the Court's rules and procedures, as well as the Court's customs.

Cover Art
Supreme Court Practice, 10th ed. - Stephen M. Shapiro, et al.,
Call Number: KF 9057 .S8 2013 Law Open Reserve
ISBN: 9781617463372
Covers in detail: the Court's jurisdiction to review decisions of state and federal courts; the process by which the Court decides whether to grant cert.; specific procedures for handling appeals. (Published by Bloomberg BNA in 2013. Also available on Bloomberg Law.)


Best Introductory Books

These books cover the Court's procedures, history, and justices, and can lead you to further, more detailed, research resources.

Cover Art
The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction - Linda Greenhouse
Call Number: KF 8742 .G744 2012 Law Open Reserve
ISBN: 0199754543
Publication Date: 2012
A concise overview based on insights from 30 years on the New York Times Supreme Court beat.

Cover Art
The Supreme Court A to Z, 4th ed. - Kenneth Jost, ed.
Call Number: KF 8742 .A35 S8 2007 Law Reference
Lengthy alphabetical entries discussing justices or defining terms (e.g., "assigning opinions," "docket," "Solicitor General"), and concepts (e.g., "incorporation doctrine," "political question") .

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The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States - Kermit Hall, et al., eds.
Call Number: KF 8742 .A35 O93 2005 Law Reference
Short alphabetically-arranged essays on people, cases, concepts and doctrines (e.g., "federalism"), statutes, etc. Includes suggestions for further reading. (Available to the USF community via Oxford Reference Online (ORO). Connect to ORO, select "Law" from the "Subject Reference" list, then select "The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States.")

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Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court, 5th ed. - David G. Savage
Call Number: KF 8742 .W567 2010 Law Reference
A more elaborate, two-volume version of The Supreme Court at Work, below. Covers much of the same ground but in greater detail.

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The Supreme Court at Work, 2d ed. - Joan Biskupic & Elder Witt
Call Number: KF 8742 .S912 1997 Law Compact Storage
Covers: history; operation; traditions; people; courtrooms; cost; members of the court. Appendix includes documents, tables, data, lists (e.g., of Acts of Congress held unconstitutional).

Cover Art
Landmark Decisions of the United States Supreme Court, 2d ed. - Paul Finkelman & Melvin I. Urofsky
Call Number: KF 4549 .F56 2008 Law Reference
Succinct summaries of the cases, with suggestions for further research.

Cover Art
Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 2d ed. - Leonard W. Levy & Kenneth L. Karst, eds.
Call Number: KF 4548 .E53 2000 Law Reference
Thorough scholarly articles about cases, concepts, justices, suggestions for further research.

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Supreme Court of the United States: A Bibliography with Indexes - George H.Rutland, ed.
Call Number: KF 8741 .A1 R883 2006 Law Reference
Extensive bibliography with hundreds of citations to important literature dealing with the Court.

Research Librarian

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Lee Ryan
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Zief Law Library, Rm. 103
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School of Law | 2130 Fulton Street | San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 | (415) 422-6307

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