Skip to main content

U.S. Supreme Court Research

Find information about the Court, its justices and its cases. Get opinions, briefs, argument transcripts, and the latest news.

More on Finding Articles

For more article-finding tools, and for detailed advice and information about finding articles about law, see our Finding Articles research guide.

Introduction: The Research Challenge and a Solution

The challenge for researchers looking for articles about the U.S. Supreme Court or its justices is separating the articles that are actually about the Court from the thousands upon thousands of articles that merely mention the Court or a justice in passing.

LegalTrac (sometimes known as "Legal Resource Index") and Index to Legal Periodicals — two article-finding tools ("indexes") that contain citations to articles but do not have the full text — can help you find relevant articles that are truly about the Court. (For more on finding articles, see the Zief Library's Finding Articles research guide.)

Using LegalTrac to Find Articles About the Court

Search Tips

To find articles about the Court in LegalTrac, use the "Advanced Search" option.

For the first search box, select "Subject" from the adjacent pull-down menu, and enter the following exact expression (including the period!):

united states. supreme court

Add other keywords to other Advance Search text boxes as needed. For example:

select* OR appoint* OR resign*
"political aspects"
statistics OR surveys
labor OR employ*

Using Index to Legal Periodicals to Find Articles About the Court

Search Tips

To find articles about the Court in Index to Legal Periodicals, use the "Advanced Search" option.

For the first search text box, select "SU Subject Terms" from the adjacent pull-down menu, and enter the following exact expression (including the quotation marks and the slash!):

"united states/supreme court"

Add other keywords to the other Advance Search text boxes as needed. For example:

environment*
"judicial nominations"
"separation of powers"
statistic*

Books — Good Overviews and Introductions

For good introductions to the U.S. Supreme Court and its work, see…

Finding Books About the Supreme Court at USF

A great way to find books about the Supreme Court is to use Ignacio.

Search Tips & Search Terms for Supreme Court Research Using Ignacio

Ignacio searches broad descriptions of books. Using and combining some of the following search terms will help you find books about different aspects of the Supreme Court.

Once you have results, you can limit them in several ways, using the "Refine by" options on the left-hand side of the Doncore results screen. One useful technique is to refine by selection "Law Stacks" or "Gleeson Stacks" from the "Location" options.

The major search term for books about the Supreme Court is:

"United States Supreme Court"

You can combine this search term with many other useful terms related to the court or to constitutional law. These are just a few examples examples of searches you can run:

"United States Supreme Court" History
"United States Supreme Court" Constitution*
"United States Supreme Court" Religio*
"United States Supreme Court" Speech
"United States Supreme Court" "Judicial Review"
"United States Supreme Court" "Judicial Process"
"United States Supreme Court" "Decision Making"
"United States Supreme Court" "Public Opinion"
"United States Supreme Court" Judges
"United States Supreme Court" Judges "Selection and Appointment"
"United States Supreme Court" Biography
"United States Supreme Court" "Officials and Employees"
"United States Supreme Court" Statistics
"United States Supreme Court" Bibliography

A few other particularly useful search terms related to the Supreme Court include (but are by no means limited to):

"Political Questions and Judicial Power"
"Constitutional Law United States"
"Civil Rights United States"
"United States Solicitor General"
"Government Litigation United States"
School of Law | 2130 Fulton Street | San Francisco, CA 94117-1080 | (415) 422-6307