More than 225 years of Supreme Court decisions acquired by the Library of Congress are now publicly available online. The Library of Congress shared their latest news with us in the release, “Historical Supreme Court Cases Now Online.”

The Library has made available more than 35,000 cases that were published in the printed bound editions of United States Reports, a series of bound case reporters that are the official reports of decisions for the United States Supreme Court dating to the court’s first decision in 1791 and to earlier courts that preceded the Supreme Court in the colonial era.

The Library’s new online collection offers access to individual cases published in volumes 1-542 of the bound edition and is fully searchable. Filters allow users to narrow their searches by date, name of the justice authoring the opinion, subject and by the main legal concepts at issue in each case. PDF versions of individual cases can be viewed and downloaded.

“For the first time, these historical materials will be available online as page images in a searchable format,” Law Librarian of Congress Jane Sánchez said. “The U.S. Reports offer a reflection of important social and cultural issues over time. These historical court cases include decisions that have defined basic constitutional authorities and rights. They are a valuable resource for curious citizens and constitutional law scholars alike.”

Melody K. Smith

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