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Federal Courts

Dockets

Supreme Court dockets contain status information about both pending and decided cases.

U.S. Supreme Court website
The dockets for the current and previous term can be searched on the Court’s website.

PACER
PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) is an electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from Federal Appellate, District and Bankruptcy courts.  Creating an account in PACER is free, as is viewing judicial opinions, but accessing other court filings incurs a $0.10/page fee. However, users who incur less than $15 in charges in any quarterly cycle will not be charged a fee, making up to 150 pages a quarter free. Coverage varies by jurisdiction.

U.S. Law Week (Bloomberg Law password required)
U.S. Law Week provides current information on the Court’s docket.  This publication is available online through Bloomberg Law.

Westlaw (Westlaw password required)
The Westlaw U.S. Supreme Court Dockets database has dockets available starting with cases filed in January 2000.  Dockets are updated 45 days after the initial filing date. 

ProQuest Supreme Court Insight, 1975-2016 (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE)
This database provides the full opinions of argued Supreme Court cases for the dates 1975-2016 and their associated dockets. 

Briefs

Briefs submitted to the Court contain the legal arguments, facts, and documents parties rely on when arguing before the Court. Merits briefs are those submitted by parties to the case; amicus briefs are those submitted by non-parties hoping to influence the Court’s decision.

United States Supreme Court Records and Briefs (Congressional Information Service)
This microfiche set has briefs for argued cases back to 1897 and for non-argued cases back to 1975. It is available at Law Microforms KF101 S.88

Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States (Philip B. Kurland and Gerhard Casper, University Publications of America, 1975—)  
This multi-volume print set contains briefs filed in major constitutional law cases from 1793 to 1980. The set is organized chronologically, and the names and years of cases included in each volume are printed on the spine.  It is available in print in the Law Library collection.

ABA Supreme Court Preview
The American Bar Association’s Supreme Court Preview offers merit and amicus briefs in pdf format for cases from the current Supreme Court term, and merit briefs archived back to OT 2003.  Briefs are accessible by case name.

Office of the Solicitor General
The website of the Office of the Solicitor General contains all Supreme Court briefs filed by the Solicitor General from 1998 to the present, with the exception of the government’s responses to “in forma pauperis” petitions.  Select briefs from 1982-1997 are also available.  Briefs can be searched by subject/client or browsed by term.

SCOTUSblog
The SCOTUSblog has briefs from OT 2007 to the present.  Cases are organized by term and briefs are available within the info page of each case.

Making of Modern Law, U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs: 1832-1978 (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE)
The Making of Modern Law U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs, 1832-1978 collection contains records and briefs brought before the U.S. Supreme Court in the period 1832-1978.

ProQuest Supreme Court Insight, 1975-2016 (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE)
This database provides the full opinions of argued Supreme Court cases for the dates 1975-2016 and their associated briefs.

Westlaw (Westlaw password required) 
The Westlaw U.S. Supreme Court Briefs database contains merit and amicus briefs for cases granted certiorari from 1930 to the present.

Lexis (Lexis password required) 
The Lexis U.S. Supreme Court Briefs database contains merit and amicus briefs for cases granted certiorari from 1979 to the present, with selected coverage from 1936.

Petitions for Certiorari

Petitions for certiorari are petitions filed with the Supreme Court asking the court to review the decision of a lower court.  Petitions include party names, a statement of the facts, the legal questions presented for review, and an argument for granting certiorari.

The Records and Briefs of the Supreme Court of the United States (Scholarly Resources) 
This microfiche/microform set has records and briefs of the Supreme Court for the years 1910-2007 available on microfiche located at Law Microforms KF101 .S88.  An Index to the set is available at Law Microforms KF 101 .S87.  For the years prior to 1960 petitions for certiorari are included only for cases where certiorari was granted; for the years 1960-the present petitions for certiorari are available for both cases where certiorari was denied and granted.

SCOTUSblog 
The SCOTUSblog posts selected current petitions for certiorari on its “Petitions We’re Watching” page.  Entries for each case include certiorari-stage documents and links to the lower-court opinion.

Westlaw (Westlaw password required)
The Westlaw  U.S. Supreme Court Petitions for Writ of Certiorari database has petitions for writ of certiorari and related documents, including briefs, from 1985 to the present.

Lexis (Lexis password required)
The Lexis U.S. Supreme Court Briefs database has petitions for certiorari from 1999 to the present, with selected older petitions available.