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Making of Modern Law: U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs


The Making of Modern Law: U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs database contains U.S. Supreme Court documents from 1832 to 1978.  The collection from 1832 to 1915 is primarily based on the holdings of America's oldest law library, Philadelphia's Jenkins Memorial Law Library.  For the documents from 1915-1978 the Library of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York is the primary source for the documents.

There are more than 350,000 documents involving 150,000 Supreme Court cases, the majority of which involved cases where the Court did not give a full opinion.  Document types include Appellant's Brief; Appellee's Brief; Application for Review; Application for Writ; Brief in Opposition; Brief of Real Party; Intervenor’s Brief; Jurisdictional Statement; Letter Brief; Opposition for Review; Oral Transcript; Petition; Petition for Rehearing; Petitioner’s Brief; Petition for Writ of Certiorari; Relator’s Brief; Supplement to Petition; Transcript; and other document types.


So when should you use the Making of Modern Law: U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs?  Well, if you are interested in researching older Supreme Court cases, or in American constitutional, political, legal, social, economical, cultural, and intellectual history, this is the place to look.  However, if you are interested in the history of a more recent Supreme Court case you will  want to look at ProQuest Supreme Court Insight database, which contains many documents including full opinions, petitioner and respondent briefs, dockets, oral arguments, joint appendices and amicus briefs for U.S. Supreme Court cases from 1975 to the present day.  (It also includes dockets, briefs, and petitions for writs of certiorari for paid cases in which the writ was denied.)