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U.S. Supreme Court

A great place to start your research on the U.S. Supreme Court and its decisions.

Briefs

NB:  Failing these sources, to get copies of cert petitions in cases where cert was denied, patrons may need to contact the Supreme Court Clerk's Office at (202) 479-3011 and have the docket number. It is likely that the patron will need to have someone physically go there and copy the document.

ABA:

  • Merit briefs 2003 Term to date
  • Amicus briefs 2007 Term to date
  • PDF

Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law: KF 101.9 L35

  • Selected briefs (petition, merit, and amicus)
  • 1793 to 2001

Lexis Advance: Briefs, Pleadings, and Motions > Federal > U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

  • All briefs available for cases granted cert after 1993-1994 term; merit briefs for cases granted cert and special masters, amicus briefs, and joint appendices beginning in January 1979, with selected coverage from 1936.
  • Includes briefs petitioning for certiorari in civil cases (other than habeas cases) that are granted from the 1999-2000 term to date; for civil cases where cert. is denied, briefs are provided for cases on the paid docket but are not provided for cases on the In Forma Pauperis docket; no cert-stage briefs are provided for habeas cases or for criminal cases that are summarily decided or where cert. is denied.
  • PDF available from 2006 Term onward

Office of the Solicitor General: All briefs from the OSG 1998 to date (PDF); selected older briefs 1982 to 1997 (html)

SCOTUSblog: Merit, amicus, and petition granted briefs from 2007 to date; PDF

ProQuest Supreme Court Insight: When fully populated at the end of 2017, this database will provide coverage of records and briefs from 1975. Currently, all of the cases from 2004-2015/2016 terms are online. The current schedule is to complete 1995-2004 by July 2017, 1985-1994 by October 2017 and 1975-1984 by December 2017.  For the current term, the database will be adding material on an ongoing basis while a case is pending before the Court.

U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs Digital Archive (MOML):

  • 1832 - 1978; PDF
  • Petition (including cert denied), merit, and amicus briefs
  • Also includes appendix or appendices

U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs (1832 to date): Microfiche holdings

  • Microfiche set is more complete than the digital archive
  • Merit and amicus briefs; cert. petitions coverage varies by date
  • 1832-1959: granted cert. petitions only; use index for 1832-1896; arranged by U.S. Reports citation for 1897-1959
  • 1960 to date: all cert. petitions; arranged by U.S. Reports citation for 1960-1972; arranged by docket number 1973 onward

U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs (1960 to date):

  • Selected briefs in print, received as one of the Court's depositories
  • Subset of microfiche holdings
  • Housed offsite

Westlaw: Briefs > U.S. Supreme Court:

Joint Appendix

The joint appendix or appendices includes the relevant docket entries; any relevant pleadings, jury instructions, findings, conclusions, or opinions; the judgment, order, or decision under review; and any other parts of the record that the parties wish to bring to the Court's attention. 

Lexis: joint appendices beginning in January 1979, with selected coverage from 1936.

Westlaw (SCT-JA): Selected joint appendices from 1982 to present.