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U.S. Supreme Court

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

Oral Arguments

Once the Court's yearlong term begins on the first Monday in October, the pattern is for the Court to hear oral arguments for two weeks and then take a two week recess until around mid-April. During the two week sets of oral arguments, the Court may hear up to four arguments a day, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. (See the Court's visitor's guide to oral arguments.)

Transcripts are posted same day an oral argument is heard. Starting with the 2010 Term, audio from all oral arguments are posted on the Court's website at the end of each argument week, Fridays after Conference, to listen to or download. (From the Court's homepage, look for "Oral Arguments" or "What's New.")

The Court has transcribed and recorded nearly all proceedings since 1953, but does not allow arguments to be broadcast live or filmed. The National Archives is the official repository of the Court's recordings; the Court releases all of its recordings to the National Archives around the start of the subsequent term in October. Audio of opinion announcements is only accessible via the National Archives.

From December 2000 up to the 2010 Term, the Court had allowed same-day release of audio when there was heightened public interest, but this was an extremely rare occurrence and is now discontinued.

 


Recordings

U.S. Supreme Court:

  • From Oct. 2010 Term to date
  • Audio recordings available to listen to or download

Oyez

  • From 1968 Term; selected cases, 1955-1967
  • Also available as podcasts

National Archives: Finding Aid to their sound holdings

 


Transcripts

U.S. Supreme Court:

  • 2000 Term to date; PDF
  • Transcripts are posted same day an oral argument is heard; official, but subject to final review
  • Transcripts prior to the 2000 Term are maintained in the Supreme Court Library.The Library’s collection contains transcripts of every oral argument since the beginning of the 1968 Term and selected transcripts before the 1968 Term back to 1935. 

Complete Oral Arguments of the Supreme Court: Microfiche KF 101.8 C65

  • 1952 to date
  • Selected transcripts for 1953-68.

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

  • Selected transcripts, including some predating 1950s.
  • Selected full text available online from HathiTrust.

Lexis: Legal > Cases - U.S. > Supreme Court Cases & Materials > United States Supreme Court Transcripts

  • 1979 onward

Oyez

  • From 1979 Term; selected cases pre-1979
  • Unofficial versions

Westlaw: All Databases > U.S. Federal Materials > Federal Cases & Judicial Materials > Judicial Materials > U.S. Supreme Court Databases > Transcripts of U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments:

  • 1990 - 91 Term onward

Selected citations of transcripts for older cases:

  • Sen. Doc. No. 52, 75th Cong., 1st sess. (National Labor Relations Act cases, Labor Board v. Jones & Laughlin, 301 U.S. 1, and related cases)
  • Sen. Doc. No. 53, 75th Cong., 1st sess. (Social Security tax on employers, Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, 301 U.S. 548)
  • Sen. Doc. No. 71, 75th Cong., 1st sess. (old age benefit provisions of the Social Security Act, Helvering v. Davis, 301 U.S. 619)
  • Partial transcripts:
    • Norman v. Baltimore & O. R. Co., 294 U.S. 240 (argument of Attorney General Cummings at pp. 251-72)
    • United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (argument of Solicitor General Reed at pp. 4-13, 48-52; argument of Senator George Wharton Pepper at pp. 23-44)
    • Carter v. Carter Coal Co, 298 U.S. 238 (argument of Frederick H. Wood, Esq., at pp. 243-55; argument of Assistant Attorney General Dickinson at pp. 255-69)

C-SPAN: Selected Oral Arguments

C-SPAN offers audio of selected Supreme Court oral arguments. The following is a sample.

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