In classes, conferences, and the pages of law reviews,
experts break down recent developments of the law. This is especially true for
the United States Supreme Court. Their decisions have sweeping effects, and no matter your interest area: it's a good idea to keep yourself informed. Not only are the Court's opinions themselves important, but also which
cases they are going to hear in the future, or have denied hearing altogether. This begs the question — what are the best resources for
staying up to date on the Supreme Court?
Reading regular daily news won't get you very much
information outside of nomination drama and the outcomes of the most
controversial cases. Instead, it’s usually best to consult more specialty legal
There isn’t a single, one-stop shop that will have
everything you could want. Instead, as is often the case with finding good
information, it’s best to visit multiple sources in order to give yourself as
clear a picture as possible. It’s also good to keep a toolbox of resources in
mind to best fit your goal. Some days you may want to do a deep dive on specific
upcoming cases, while other days you may want to browse the bigger picture
headlines with your morning coffee.
With that in mind, here are some of the most helpful
resources for staying abreast of the comings-and-goings at the Supreme Court:
SCOTUSBlog is a great daily stop for staying informed. They
publish daily roundups containing relevant news, a running list of all the
cases the court is going to hear arguments on (including when they will be
argued), and a list of pending petitions. They also publish the opinions for
cases upon release.
For the audio inclined, they have a podcast called
"SCOTUStalk." Recent topics include an interview with an oral
advocate about their experience fielding questions from Justices, recent
Affordable Care Act challenges, and an end-of-term review.
Finally, SCOTUSblog has some special projects to be aware
of. First, they have been collecting detailed statistic for each term. The
statistics include pace of decisions, pace of granted cases, and majority
opinions authored per justice. They are also currently running a “2020 Election
Litigation Tracker” for the election season, which provides information on
major election law cases working their way through all levels of the justice
Oyez, while being less helpful than SCOTUSBlog for daily
news, is great for Supreme Court history, breakdowns of past cases, and
information about past-and-present Justices.
The site includes a list of decided cases (that can be
filtered by term, name, date, popularity, etc.) with summaries and details on
how each justice voted. This includes a fun feature that sorts the Justices by
ideology (presented in literal left-to-right fashion), which can give you an
idea of cases that are more split along political lines. They also have
detailed biographies for every single Supreme Court justice. If you ever wanted
to know all about Justice William Patterson (1793-1806), this is the place for
Lastly, Oyez features a project called “Oral Argument 2.0.”
This is a fun series where legal academics, “with the benefit of hindsight,”
give answers to questions the Justices asked advocates during oral arguments.
This series has featured scholars like Erwin Chemerinsky and UNC’s own Michael
Bloomberg News’ “The United State Law Week” is a helpful
source for all legal news. You can filter the news into Supreme Court specific
pieces, or check out “Supreme Court Today,” which includes opinions related to
recent orders, as well as a list of recently filed or docketed cases organized
by subject area.
The Court’s official site, while less easy to navigate, is
helpful if you're looking for an official government source or specific
documents. This site has all the court’s opinions, oral argument audio and
transcripts, and a docket search feature.
Reuters is a good source for general news on the Supreme
Court. This feed focuses on political news surrounding the Supreme Court, but
can still be helpful for keeping up with major developments.
Politico, similar to Reuters, has a specific Supreme Court
news feed. This—true to the name—will be more politically focused in nature.
This feed will also feature the occasional opinion piece.
Posted by Andrew J. Wisniewsky on Tue. September 15, 2020 2:00 PM