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Researching and Locating Supreme Court Materials


This page identifies how to locate recent slip opinions, preliminary prints, and opinions published in the United States Reports (official case reporter) and in unofficial case reporters. 

This page also provides information on how to conduct segment/field searching through Supreme Court opinions in Westlaw and Lexis Advance in order to narrow your search results.

Slip Opinions

Preliminary Prints

United States Reports (Official Case Reporter)

The official case reporter for Supreme Court cases is the United States Reports.  However, the bound volumes of the United States Reports are not published as quickly as the bound volumes of the unofficial case reporters.  

More information about the bound volumes is found on the United States Supreme Court website:

The U. S. Reports volumes available for free download on The United States Supreme Court website consist of volumes 502 et seq., which covers the 1991 Term and subsequent Terms. Starting with the Court’s 2022 Term, PDFs of the U. S. Reports (in both preliminary print and bound volume format) will be posted to this website as they become available. PDFs of volumes not yet officially published and available for purchase from GPO will be posted bearing a “page proof” watermark.

For earlier volumes of the U.S. Reports, the Library of Congress maintains an online digital collection of the U.S. Reports covering the years 1754-2012.

Unofficial Case Reporters

Supreme Court opinions that have not yet been published in the United States Reports can be found on Westlaw and Lexis Advance.  Opinions in these databases will have a citation to an unofficial case reporter (Supreme Court Reporter on Westlaw or U.S. Supreme Court Cases, Lawyer's Edition on Lexis Advance) as well as a parallel citation to the United States Reports (if available).

These unofficial case reporter versions of opinions may contain helpful annotations (for example, Key Numbers, headnotes, etc.).