Frequently Asked Questions at the D'Angelo Law Library

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Where can I find U.S. Supreme Court briefs?

Question updated on Sep 06, 2018   


Making of Modern Law: U.S. Supreme Court Briefs and Records, 1832-1978 provides access to briefs and records from argued and cert denied cases, in PDF and searchable full-text from 1832 through 1978. 

For more recent cases, Westlaw Edge provides merit briefs, appendices, and transcripts of oral arguments for cases argued since the October 1990 term and amicus briefs for cases argued since the October 1995 term. Westlaw Edge is available only to law students, staff and faculty.

LexisNexis provides merit briefs from the October 1979 term and amicus briefs and joint appendices through the 1992 term. LexisNexis is available only to law students, faculty and staff, but the same briefs should be also be available in LexisNexis Academic (Federal & State Cases).

For older cases, consult the Case Papers of the Supreme Court of the U.S., 1790-1807, which are on microfilm.

The D'Angelo Law Library is also a depository library for U.S. Supreme Court records and briefs. Our Briefs and Records of the U.S. Supreme Court are located in Mansueto Library at K60.Z8 (1916-1982) and XXKF101.9.U5, Mansueto Library (1982-present). Please note that the print set is organized by volume, with all the briefs from one case in a separate volume.  The year denominating the volume is the year the case originated in the Supreme Court, not the year of decision. The number that follows is the Supreme Court docket number.  For example, "1986 no. 177" has in it the briefs and records from Tanner v. U.S., docket number 86-177. That case was decided in 1987. The Library only holds the briefs and records that were distributed by the Federal Deposit Library Program. There are omissions. If a docket number is not represented, the Library does not hold briefs for that case.  

Finally, you may wish to consult the print publication Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States, Constitutional Law, which republishes briefs for selected cases. It is located in the D'Angelo Law Bookstacks at XXKF101.8.K87. Another copy is in the Regenstein Library 2nd floorReading Room at JK1507 1975.