A New Reporter Confronts the Supreme Court’s Unpublished Decisions

17 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2024

Date Written: February 27, 2024


For over two hundred years, the United States Supreme Court has been served by an officially designated “Reporter” charged with overseeing the publication of its decisions. While the statutory framework within which the Court’s Reporter of Decisions must operate has been revised from time to time, it has always reflected the need for that publication to be timely. It has also been focused solely on the production of printed volumes, a growing anachronism in an era of linked and searchable law data. Because of the disconnect, delays in official publication of the Court’s decisions grew over the course of this century to the point that when a new Reporter took office in 2021 the most recent volume of the Court’s decisions reached only the early days of 2016, five years prior. The paper identifies some of the costs and challenges flowing from that delay. It then proceeds to trace steps the Reporter has taken since 2021 to mitigate the problem through electronic publication at the Court’s website.

Keywords: Supreme Court, Reporter of Decisions, Official Reports, Citation, Electronic Publication

Suggested Citation

Martin, Peter W., A New Reporter Confronts the Supreme Court’s Unpublished Decisions (February 27, 2024). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4741050 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4741050

Peter W. Martin (Contact Author)

Cornell Law School ( email )

Myron Taylor Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853-4901

HOME PAGE: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/faculty/bio.cfm?id=42

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