Supreme Court FAQs

October 4, 2010

The United States Supreme Court commences its 2010-2011 term on Monday October 4, 2010 with its newest Associate Justice Elena Kagan making it a three women presence on the bench. The term commences with a full docket, but Justice Kagan will not be active in many of the cases scheduled before the Court due to her work as Solicitor General and has already recused herself from many of the cases scheduled for hearing this term.

Keeping on top of Supreme Court Research

A question we get asked often is how soon does Westlaw have Supreme Court decisions? Given the importance of Supreme Court decisions, usually, the full text of a Supreme Court opinion is added to Westlaw within twenty minutes of the courts announcement of the decision. You can keep abreast of the decisions by setting up a WestClip to get automatically notified of the latest decisions handed down by the Supreme Court. As an example:

Database: SCT

Query: PR(SUPREME-COURT)

The first time you run the above search, you will get thousands of cases but once you add it as a WestClip, the Clip will only update your research and notify you based on the frequency you select.

Excluding Supreme Court Orders from Supreme Court Cases

Another question we get often from our researchers is how do you exclude Supreme Court Orders from Supreme Court Cases? A simple field restriction to the search helps to eliminate as many memorandum documents from the result as possible:

Database: SCT

Query: da(2010) & sy(court) % ci(mem)

Other Relevant Supreme Court Databases on Westlaw

SCT-ORALARG: Transcripts of U.S. Supreme Court Oral Arguments

SCT-BRIEF: U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

SCT-JA: United States Supreme Court Joint Appendices

SCT-PREVIEW: Preview of U.S. Supreme Court Cases

WLB-SCT: WESTLAW Bulletin – U.S. Supreme Court