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Where to Find Briefs

Electronic versions of most filings submitted after November 13, 2017, are available through the docket for the particular case. Older briefs can be obtained through the following outside sources.

Subscription Databases

LexisNexis - 
Briefs, Pleadings and Motions
U. S. Supreme Court Briefs


Earliest brief dated August 12, 1936 through current. Includes merit briefs for cases granted certiorari and special masters, amicus curiae briefs, and joint appendices beginning in January 1979, with selected coverage from 1936.

All briefs are available for cases granted certiorari beginning after the 1993-1994 term; also includes briefs petitioning for certiorari in civil cases (other than habeas cases) from the 1999-2000 term through current.

For civil cases where certiorari is denied, briefs are provided for cases on the paid docket but are not provided for cases on the In Forma Pauperis docket. No cert-stage briefs are provided for habeas cases or for criminal cases that are summarily decided or where certiorari is denied.

Westlaw - 
U.S. Supreme Court Briefs, Petitions & Joint Appendices


  1. Merits and amicus briefs filed with the Supreme Court of the United States for cases in which certiorari has been granted or probable jurisdiction has been noted and for which oral arguments have been scheduled.
    1. Comprehensive coverage from 1931 to present
    2. Selected coverage from 1870-1930
  2. Petitions for writ of certiorari and related documents, such as briefs in opposition and support of the petitions, filed with the court before certiorari has been granted or denied.
    1. Comprehensive coverage from 1985 to the present
    2. Selected coverage from 1877 to 1984
  3. Inclusions: selected joint appendices. The joint appendix includes the relevant docket entries; any relevant pleadings, jury instructions, findings, conclusions, or opinions, the judgment, order, or decision under review; and any other parts of the record that the parties wish to bring to the Court’s attention. Coverage from 1982-present.

Internet Sources

Westlaw.Court Express
Request a Document: Thomson Reuters CourtExpress Document Research and Retrieval Email-

Supreme Court Insight 1933-Present
Available by subscription or at Local University Libraries.

The Making of Modern Law: U. S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs 1832-1978
Available by subscription or at Local University Libraries.

Office of the Solicitor General
Inclusions: From 1985 to present, all briefs filed by the Solicitor General, except responses to IFP cases. From 1993-1996 and 1986-1990 Solicitor General merits briefs and responses. From 1982-1985 Solicitor General merits briefs. Please see the web site for information on omissions, arrangement, and formats.

Document Retrieval Services

For a fee these Washington, D.C. area companies will photocopy briefs of the Supreme Court of the United States currently on file at the Library of Congress. This is a partial list, for informational purposes only, and implies no Supreme Court endorsement of any entity.

  • Washington Express: (202) 338-0930
  • Cogency Global: (800) 494-5225
  • Infoline, Inc.: (202) 783-3538
  • The Leonard Group, Inc.: (301) 776-9260
  • Thomson Reuters Court Express:

Self-service at the Supreme Court

This service is available during hours when the Supreme Court building is open to the public. Please call (202)479-3011 to see if the briefs you are requesting are available.

Depositories of Printed Supreme Court Briefs

Law Librarian
The University of Chicago
1121 East 60th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637

Law Librarian
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540

Law Librarian
Cornell Law Library
340 Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, New York 14853

Law Librarian
Connecticut State Library
231 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut 06106

Law Librarian
Law Library
Indiana University
211 South Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, Indiana 47405

Law Librarian
Law Library
University of Louisville
Wyatt Hall, Room 121
2301 S. 3rd Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40292

Law Librarian
Gallagher Law Library
University of Washington
P.O. Box 353025
4000-15th Avenue N. E.
Seattle, Washington 98195

Law Librarian
Lillian Goldman Law Library
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215

Law Librarian
Law Library
University of Minnesota Law Center
229-19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455


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