Supreme Court orders, including judgments and writs, are published in the reporters listed below. Judgments are the type of order that result from cases reviewed on the merits; these are accompanied by opinions providing the Court's holding. Depending on the views of the justices, multiple types of opinions may result: majority, concurring, dissenting, plurality, or per curiam opinions. (It is rare but possible for a justice to issue a dissent from the Court's denial of a writ for certiorari.) The Supreme Court reporter helps in editing the Court's opinions and oversees their official publication.
The very first place to obtain Supreme Court opinions is SCOTUSBlog, which occasionally live blogs from the Court as it announces its decisions. Later that same day, the Court posts slip opinions on its website, which are later added to the volumes of bound opinions. (Beginning with the Oct. 2015 Term, postrelease edits are being highlighted on the Court's website in a "Revised" column, part of the listing of a given term's opinions.)
Official United States Reports (U.S.):
Unofficial Reports in Print/PDF:
Unofficial Reports in HTML available for free online:
West’s American Digest System:
As set by the Court's calendar, the Court's term officially begins on the first Monday in October, though in modern practice the justices meet in late September to decide and announce new cases to be heard. From this first Monday to mid-April, the Court alternates between two week periods for oral arguments and two week recesses. During the two week oral argument periods, the Court also holds conferences to discuss certiorari petitions and orally argued cases.
The Court's consideration of petitions for writs of certiorari starts with a "discuss list." If a case does not make the list, the Court denies certiorari without discussion or a vote at conference. For those cases that make the list, Supreme Court practice has established a rule of four allowing a minority of four out of nine justices to grant certiorari. (For scheduling, see the Court's Case Distribution Schedule.) The Court announces its action the Mondays after conference.
It is also at these conferences that, within two weeks of a case's oral argument, a justice is assigned to write its majority opinion. Opinions are then announced throughout the term, predominantly in the spring and summer, typically on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. After the Court has taken action on the last case argued before it that term, usually late June or early July, it takes a summer recess.
The Supreme Court in Conference, 1940-1985: KF 8742 S917 2001
Draft opinions: The Unpublished Opinions…
Of the Rehnquist Court: KF101.8 S377 1996
Of the Burger Court: KF 101.8 S37 1988
Of the Warren Court: KF101.8 S38 1985
Of Mr. Justice Brandeis: KF 213 B7
In chambers opinions are written by a justice (usually the justice assigned to the Circuit from which the case arises) to dispose of an application by a party for interim relief (e.g., for a stay, vacation of a stay, or temporary injunction).
Available from 1926 in A Collection of In Chambers Opinions by the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States:
For the latest in chambers opinions, see the Supreme Court's page.
National Archives: Finding
Aid to their sound holdings
N.B. Jill Duffy and Elizabeth Lambert, Dissents from the Bench: A Compilation of Oral Dissents by U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 102 Law Library J. 7 (2010).