The United States Supreme Court is the highest federal court in the country. Many of the cases that reach the Supreme Court involve issues of constitutional law. Created by Article 3 of the United States Constitution, the Supreme Court possesses appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and state court cases which involve issues of the interpretation of federal law. The Supreme Court also has original jurisdiction over select cases, such as those involving controversies between two or more states. Use this guide as to help learn about resources for researching the United States Supreme Court,
If you are researching the United States Supreme Court, including cases before the court or their history, the Cracchiolo Law Library has access to a number of different databases you can explore. Some databases that may be relevant include:
LLMC Digital contains some historical Supreme Court records, including U.S. Supreme Court Reports dating back to 1790, select historical transcripts of Supreme Court cases, and select case law digests. If you are interested in Supreme Court history, this is a great place to look. For example, the database contains the Supreme Court Journal from 1892 to 2015. The Journal is the official daily record of all transactions affecting cases before the Supreme Court and it contains not only the transcripts of oral arguments, but also miscellaneous announcements made by the Justices, as well as other information, such as the names of the attorneys accepted to the Bar of the Supreme Court. For more information on using LLMC Digital check out LLMC Digital Research Guide
Westlaw contains a number of Supreme Court resources, including Westlaw's United States Supreme Court Briefs (select coverage beginning in 1930, found on the Briefs category page) and Westlaw's United States Supreme Court Oral Arguments (transcripts with coverage beginning with the 1990-1991 term, found on the Trial Transcripts & Oral Arguments category page). If you want to find recent oral argument transcripts for Supreme Court cases, or briefs for cases dating to the mid-twentieth century, Westlaw is a great resource to check out.
Oxford Reference contains some relevant Supreme Court secondary sources, including the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. It has entries on key cases and areas of constitutional law, such as abortion, the rights of the accused, and freedom of religion, as well as entries on less traditional areas of Supreme Court research, such as the architecture of the Supreme Court Building, and the paintings and sculptures housed within. Other secondary sources that may be of interest include The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions which has entries on hundreds of the most influential Supreme Court cases and includes historical background, analysis of the legal reasoning, and how the case influenced American society.