Monday, March 18, 2013

United States Reports - Opinions of the United States Supreme Judicial Court

The Supreme Court of the United States was created by authority of the Judiciary Act on September 24th of 1789. It was organized on February 2, of 1790. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is the oldest continuing functioning appellate court in the Western Hemisphere.  It was established in 1692.

Supreme Court justices are nominated by the President of the United States for life term tenure. The justices are confirmed by the United States Senate. There are nine Supreme Court justices; the Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices.

The State Library has the United States Reports available starting with volume 1. The first 41 volumes are kept in the Library’s Special Collection Department which is located in room 55 of the the State House. Volumes 42 to the present are accessed through the main library's reading room in room 341. 

As in most legal publications, the formula for understanding the citation of a case is: volume number, title, and page number.  This means that a citation such as 410 U.S. 113 is in volume 410 of the United States Report starting on page 113. This citation is for Roe v. Wade.

Only bound volumes of the United States Reports contain the final, official text of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Reports are available online and are also disseminated by Project Hermes, a subscription database.

State Library patrons are invited to access the opinions of the United States Supreme Court and other federal information in room 341 of the State House, Mondays through Fridays from 9 am to 5 pm.