Staying Current with the Supreme Court

As we move toward Spring, the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is issuing an increasing number of decisions; there were nine decisions this week alone. This Term, important cases will be decided over the next four months, including the Monsanto seed patent case, argued earlier this week, and the marriage cases (Hollingsworth v. Perry and U.S. v. Windsor), to be argued in late March.

A variety of sources are available to keep track of new developments: some through subscription services, and some free to all.

Commercial updates include United States Law Week (among the suite of Bloomberg BNA titles), which provides extensive coverage of the Supreme Court, from news coverage to docket information to publication of full opinions. Users can create alerts on Lexis and Westlaw, to be notified of news or new opinions, whatever your preferences.

Among the free services for tracking new SCOTUS decisions are daily opinion summaries from Justia (just log in and click the box next to the court for which you want daily summaries of new opinions) and the Supreme Court Bulletin (subscribe to receive an email with the syllabus of each new SCOTUS decision) from Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII). Then there is SCOTUSblog, which provides exhaustive coverage of all things SCOTUS, including easy access to briefs and other informaton on pending cases in its Merits Cases section. Likewise, the ABA’s Previews pages offer background on each case to be argued before the Court.

Other tools? Consider following the Twitter feeds of journalists who cover the Court, including The New York Times’ Adam Liptak and Slate‘s Dahlia Lithwick; or SCOTUSblog; or such other feeds as @SCOTUSOpinions, which posts only links to new opinions.

To survey other sources of SCOTUS information, consult the library’s portal or (more generally) our links to legal news and blogs.

Students, for more tips and strategies for staying current, register for the Keeping Up with the Law certification class next week.