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Transcripts and Recordings of Oral Arguments (October 2010)


Beginning with the October 2006 Term, the Court has made the transcripts of oral arguments available free to the public on its Website, www.supremecourt.gov, on the same day an argument is heard by the Court.

The Court’s contracted reporting service, Alderson Reporting Company1, with the aid of a court reporter in the Courtroom and high-speed technology, transcribes the oral arguments more quickly, therefore, providing the transcripts to the Court for same day posting on our website.

Transcripts are listed by case name and the date of oral argument. Transcripts are permanently archived beginning with the 2000 Term on the Court’s Website. Transcripts prior to the 2000 Term are maintained in the Supreme Court Library.

After Alderson completes an oral argument transcript and provides copies to the Court it is sent to Westlaw and added to their collection. Westlaw’s collection includes oral argument transcripts since 1990, which subscribers can access through the SCT-ORALARG database2.

Such oral argument transcripts are also available on the Lexis-Nexis service. Lexis-Nexis' collection includes all oral argument transcripts since the beginning of the October 1979 Term. Subscribers to Lexis-Nexis (with a software package) can access these documents by entering the GENFED library and then clicking on the USTRAN file, which allows for a case name, docket or date range search for transcripts3.

Alderson Reporting Company also delivers copies of oral argument transcripts to the Supreme Court Library where they are added to the Library’s records and briefs collection and are available to the public after 3:00 p.m. the next business day4. The Library’s collection contains the transcripts of every oral argument since the beginning of the 1968 Term and a random selection of transcripts from oral arguments before the 1968 Term dating back to 1935. Photocopies cost twenty cents per page. In addition to its oral argument transcripts, the Library’s collection includes records and briefs from 1832 to the present.5

Beginning with October Term 2010, the audio recordings of all oral arguments heard by the Supreme Court of the United States will be available free to the public on the Court's Web Site, www.supremecourt.gov.  The audio recordings will be posted on Fridays at the end of each argument week.

The public may either download the audio files or listen to the recordings on the Court's Web site.  The audio recordings may be accessed by clicking on the "Oral Arguments" prompt on the home page, and selecting "Argument Audio." The recordings will be listed by case name, docket number, and the date of oral argument, and are available in three audio formats. The recordings will also be accessible by clicking on "What's New" on the site's home page.

The Archives’ collection contains audio recordings of Supreme Court oral arguments from 1955 through the immediately preceding October Term. Members of the public can listen to or make their own copies of oral argument recordings using their own tape recorders, blank tapes, and patch cords at the Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Branch. Copies of recordings can also be purchased from the Archives.6 To listen to or purchase a copy of a recording, the Archives asks that individuals requesting recordings provide the case title, Supreme Court case number, and date of the oral argument. Although no formal appointment is required to listen to recordings, the Archives recommends that individuals interested in retrieving copies make sure the Archives has a "reference copy" of the particular argument they are looking for prior to visiting the Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Branch.

Many recordings of oral arguments are also available on the Oyez Project website.7 This website allows access to more than 5,000 hours of audio in mp3 format. The cases cover a wide range of time periods and areas of constitutional law and are digitized from actual copies of the official argument tapes held by the National Archives. To access arguments through the website, click on "Cases" on the homepage to search by title, citation, subject, or date.

Many Supreme Court oral argument recordings and/or transcripts are also available in published collections that can be purchased. The multi-volume set, Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law, edited by Professors Gerald Gunther and Gerhard Casper, contains oral argument transcripts and all written briefs submitted to the Court (including amicus curiae briefs) for major cases in constitutional law that are considered "landmark" cases by the editors. Purchases must be made by volume (not by individual case) and each volume is hardbound and approximately 750 pages.8 This set is also available at various law libraries.

Another collection of oral arguments is The Supreme Court’s Greatest Hits 2.0. This multimedia CD-ROM program currently costs $39.95 and comprises oral arguments (taped and digitally encoded directly from the Archives’ official recordings), texts, and images. The program, edited by Professor Jerry Goldman, creator of the Oyez Project, includes more than 100 hours of oral arguments as well as opinion announcements from the bench.9

Oral argument collections are also available on microfiche. The Congressional Information Service ( CIS) produces a microfiche collection called Oral Arguments of the U. S. Supreme Court. This collection includes oral argument transcripts from the 1953 Term to the present and can be purchased from CIS, which sells microfiches only by Term (not by individual argument).10 The collection can also be found at various law libraries.

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APPENDIX TO TRANSCRIPTS AND RECORDINGS OF ORAL ARGUMENTS

PRINTED TRANSCRIPTS:

Alderson Reporting Company, Inc.
Attn: Transcript Order
1111 14th Street, NW, 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20005-5650
Phone: (202) 289-2260 or (800) 367-3376
Fax: (202) 289-2221 or (800) 367-3310
Website: www.aldersonreporting.com (to purchase, click "Order Supreme Court Transcripts")
E-mail: www.info@aldersonreporting.com

The National Archives (Old Military and Civil Branch)
National Archives Records and Administration
7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenues, NW
Washington, DC 20408
Phone: (202) 501-5395
Fax: (202) 219-6273
E-mail: NWCTB@nara.gov

United States Supreme Court Library
One First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20543
Phone (202) 479-3186
Website: http://www.supremecourt.gov


ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPTS:

Westlaw
Phone: (800) 328-4880
Website: http://www.westlaw.com/

LexisNexis
Phone: (800) 356-6548 (Lexis sales)
(800) 843-6476
Website: http://www.lexisnexis.com/

U.S. Supreme Court
Website: http://www.supremecourt.gov
Click on "Oral Arguments"
Click on "Argument Transcripts"


ORAL ARGUMENT RECORDINGS:

National Archives
Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Branch
National Archives at College Park
Room 3340
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001
Phone: (301) 837-3540
Fax: (301) 837-3620
Website: http://www.archives.gov/research/start/by-format.html

The Oyez Project (Northwestern University) -- Unofficial
Website: http://www.oyez.org/


COLLECTIONS OF ORAL ARGUMENTS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE:

Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law
Lexis-Nexis
4520 East-West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814-3389
Phone: (301) 654-1550 or (800) 638-8380
Fax: (301) 657-3203
Website: http://www.cis.pubs.com/

The Supreme Court's Greatest Hits 2.0 
Northwestern University Press 
629 Noyes Street 
Evanston, IL 60208-4210
Phone: (847) 491-2046
Fax: (847) 491-8150
Website: http://www.nupress.northwestern.edu/
E-mail: nupress@northwestern.edu


MICROFILM/MICROFICHE

Oral Arguments of the U.S. Supreme Court
Lexis-Nexis
4520 East-West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814-3389
Phone: (301) 654-1550 or (800) 638-8380
Fax: (301) 657-3203

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1 To order a transcript from the contractor, contact Alderson Reporting Company, Inc., Attn: Transcript Order, 1111 14th Street, NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20005-5650. An Alderson Company representative can be reached by phone at (202) 289-2260 or (800) 367-3376, fax at (202) 289-2221 or (800) 367-3310 or e-mail at www.info@aldersonreporting.com. Transcripts can also be ordered through Alderson’s website at www.aldersonreporting.com (to purchase, click "Order Supreme Court Transcripts").

2 Westlaw can be reached by phone at (800) 328-4880, or through its website at http://www.westlaw.com.

3 Lexis-Nexis can be reached by phone at (800) 356-6548 (Lexis Sales) or (800) 843-6476, or through its website http://www.lexisnexis.com/.

4 The Supreme Court website is at http://www.supremecourt.gov (click on Oral Arguments and click on "Argument Transcripts").

5 The United States Supreme Court Library can be reached by phone at (202) 479-3186.

6 To obtain recordings of Supreme Court oral arguments through the National Archives contact the National Archives Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Branch, National Archives at College Park, Room 3340, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001. The Branch can be reached by phone at (301) 837-3540 or by fax at (301) 837-3620. The website is located at:http://www.archives.gov/research/formats/film-sound-video.html

7 The address for the Oyez Project website is http://www.oyez.org/.

8 For more information about this publication, contact the Congressional Information Service, 4520 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814-3389. It can be reached by phone at (301) 654-1550 or (800) 638-8380, or by fax at (301) 657-3203. The website is located at http://www.cis.pubs.com/.

9 To order The Supreme Court’s Greatest Hits 2.0, contact Northwestern University Press, 629 Noyes Street, Evanston, IL 60208-4210. The Press can be reached by phone at (847) 491-2046. For more information about the collection, see the following website: http://www.nupress.northwestern.edu/.

10 For more information about the microfiche collection, contact the Congressional Information Service. See footnote 8, supra.

November 23, 2014 | Version 2014.1