Library Research Guide - Supreme Court Cases
Suggested Search Strategies for Locating Supreme Court Cases
1. Consult the U. S. Supreme Court Digest (volumes 15--15D Tables of Cases) (REF KF127.U6). Look up your case under the plaintiffs' or defendants' names. This will give you the correct legal citations to find the case.
SAMPLE CASE CITATION volume page
McDonald v Santa Fe Trail Transp. Co., 427 US 273, 49 L Ed 2d 493, 96 S Ct 2574--appeal § 1293, civ r §§ 4.4, 7.6, 7.9; ev § 383; pl § 179
L Ed 2d = United States Supreme Court Reports (Second Lawyers' Edition) (REF KF101.A2)
US = United States Reports (official edition) (Not at RSC)
S Ct = Supreme Court Reporter (REF KF101.32.S9)
The other citations in the Digest lead you to abstracts of the court case by subject, such as Civil Rights, in this set.
2. Write down the citation and get the sources mentioned.
3. Check any terms in Black's Law Dictionary (REF KF156.B53).
4. Other possible sources--
Major Constitutional decisions are discussed in several books in the reference area (REF KF4549.C83 1987).
Legal encyclopedias offer a broad overview of some topics. Check the index for specific cases in The Guide to American Law (REF KF156.G77 1983).
Laws--You may consult the law on which the court case was based in United States Code Annotated (REF KF62.A3). Example--42 USCS §§ 2000e et seq, meaning Title 42 of the U. S. Code, sections 2000e and the following.
The Online Library Catalog has some materials listed on specific cases. Check under the subject or title of the case.
Enter in the computer terminal:
T/BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION [RETURN] or S/SCHOOL INTEGRATION [RETURN]
Before entering the Rose State College Online Databases from off-campus, you will need to activate your campus username and password. Stop by the Reference Desk in the Library, and we will assist you in getting on the network. After completing this process on campus, you will be able to utilize any of the databases from wherever you have Internet access. Complete instructions may be found at Online Database Log-in Instructions
EBSCOhost, Westlaw, and SIRS would be the best databases for your class.
Recommended Supreme Court Links can be found in the United States Law Links.
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