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Supreme Court Decisions (Supreme Court Digest or Reports)


For the paper copy, the Supreme Court Digest has decisions by subject from 1790 onward. The Supreme Court Reports lists the decisions chronologically. In LexisNexis, you can search by keyword.

How to Understand the Document

LexisNexis allows keyword searching.

If you're using the paper copy, you can start with the United States Supreme Court Digest, which is a subject guide to Supreme Court Decisions.

About This Resource

  • Start looking in LexisNexis. There are three different ways to cite laws:

    1. United States Supreme Court Reports: This reporter is the official publication of the Supreme Cout decisions. It gives full text of the decision with no commentary. It is cited volume number US page number. For example, 410 US 113 is Roe v. Wade.

    2. Supreme Court Reporter: This reporter offers full text plus enhancement. It is cited volume S Ct page number. For example, 93 S Ct 705 is Roe v. Wade.

    3. United States Reports, Lawyer's Edition: This reporter offers full text plus enhancement. It is cited volume L Ed number of edition page. For example, 35 L Ed 2d 147 is Roe v. Wade.

  • All three citations are usually given with court decisions.

  • In LexisNexis, they allow you to search by Shepard's, which gives you the history after the decision was made. It will list how the decision was cited in other cases or how the law the original case used has been changed.

Access to Information

Digital Information

  • LexisNexis: Basic Legal Research offers many searching options, and goes back to 1790 full-text.

    1. Use Get a Case to search cases by citation or by citation.

    2. Use Shepard's to search by Shepard's citation.

    3. Use Federal Law to search by keyword.

  • Judicial Branch Resources on GPO Access contains information on the Supreme Court and federal courts. It has sporadic full-text back to 1937 (missing 1975-1992).

Paper Information

  • United States Supreme Court Digest (KF101.1 D54 1948 Reference) is a subject guide to Supreme Court decisions from 1790 onward. It gives you citation of the decisions. In order to obtain the full text, you need to refer to the following resource.

  • United States Supreme Court Reports (KF101 .A3) These volumes are on the 4th floor. Each volume is chronological.