Constitutional Law II, Civil Rights and Liberties: Resources

Resources

General Supreme Court and Constitutional Law Resources

Supreme Court of the United States

This is the official web site of the United States Supreme Court. The site provides information about the Court, the justices, Court opinions, Court calendars, practice before the Court, and transcripts of oral arguments. Also includes a searchable Court docket, access to briefs on the merits for cases awaiting argument, availability of recent opinions within hours of the decision, and the availability (in PDF format) of the complete text of bound volumes of United States Reports.

SCOTUSBlog

The single best source for information and balanced commentary and analysis about the goings-on at the Supreme Court. Really, I can't say enough about how useful this site is for anyone wanting to know what's happening at the Court.

SCOTUSWiki

Companion site to SCOTUSBlog, SCOTUSWiki includes a page for each case set for argument in the October sitting, and at each case’s page, you’ll find detailed previews, recaps, and analyses, as well as links to briefs and other articles of interest. Each page will be regularly updated as the case progresses and all the information will be available in one easy-to-find place.

The Supreme Court Database

The Supreme Court Database is the definitive source for researchers, students, journalists, and citizens interested in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Database contains over two hundred pieces of information about each case decided by the Court between the 1953 and 2008 terms. Examples include the identity of the court whose decision the Supreme Court reviewed, the parties to the suit, the legal provisions considered in the case, and the votes of the Justices.

Guide to Supreme Court Web Resources

Compiled by Gail A. Partin, Associate Law Librarian at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law, this guide is intended to facilitate web searching for legal information by providing a selection of annotated links to the most reliable, substantive sites for U.S. Supreme Court research.

The Constitutional Sources Project

ConSource seeks to create and maintain the first complete, reliable, easy-to-use and fully searchable online database of original source materials for the United States Constitution so that scholars, educators, students, lawyers, judges and government personnel can have free remote access to them. ConSource.org contains source materials that document the creation of the United States Constitution. These source materials are provided in two formats: authoritative transcripts and high-quality digital images of the original hand or typewritten documents. Currently, document collections housed on the site include James Madison's Notes of the Constitutional Convention, the Federalist Papers, the Anti and Pro-Federalist Papers, the state ratification debates for seven states, the legislative history of the Bill of Rights, and the personal and public letters of the authors of the original articles and Bill of Rights, dubbed "The Founders' Papers."

FindLaw's Biographies of Current Supreme Court Justices

This page contains short biographies of all current Supreme Court Justices and links to fuller information about each.

FindLaw's Supreme Court Coverage

A comprehensive source for Supreme Court information. Court decisions back to 1893 are searchable by name, keyword, date and citation. Docket information for the current and previous terms includes links to case summaries, decisions of lower courts, and briefs where available. Other Court resources include biographical information on the justices, Court calendars, Court history, orders, court rules, and filing guides.

Legal Information Institute

An excellent web site for legal information. Includes a searchable collections of Court opinions, a topically arranged list of case summaries for the most recent term, rules, orders, biographical information on the justices, and more.

U.S. Supreme Court Monitor

Covers news, oral arguments, orders, and other events at the U.S. Supreme Court including four main areas: news, commentary, decisions, and cert. granted. The News and Commentary sections contain stories on the current court term. The Decisions section contains summaries of cases decided by the Court since the 1999-2000 term. Cases are arranged by term or by subject. The Cert. Granted section gathers information on pending cases and is arranged by argument date and subject.

The Oyez Project

The Oyez Project collects digital audio files of Supreme Court oral arguments. Cases are arranged by subject, each accompanied by an abstract of the decision, links to audio files of oral arguments and oral opinions, participation levels of each justice, and links to the full text opinion. Users can search by case name, citation, subject or date. The site also has links to Supreme Court opinions, biographies and portraits of Justices, voting records, digital recordings of speeches by justices, and a "virtual tour" of the Supreme Court Building.

On the Docket

Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism provides summaries of cases on the Supreme Court's docket in partnership with the Oyez Project. The summaries, dating back to the 1998-1999 term, are arranged by issue/subject matter for easy topic searching.

First Amendment Resources

First Amendment Center

The First Amendment Center's Web site, features research coverage of key First Amendment issues and topics, daily First Amendment news, a First Amendment Library and guest analyses by legal specialists.

James Madison Center for Free Speech

The mission of the James Madison Center for Free Speech is to support litigation and public education activities in order to defend the rights of political expression and association by citizens and citizen groups as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Reconstruction Amendment Resources

The 13th Amendment

Excellent site from Harper's Weekly containing background information about slavery, the secession crisis, emancipation policies, and congressional proposals for the 13th Amendment, the election of 1864, and the amendment's passage and ratification.

The 14th Amendment

Another great site from Harper's. This one contains information about Reconstruction, the civil rights debate in Congress during the winter of 1865-1866, early proposals for the 14th Amendment, presidential vetoes, and the passage and ratification of the amendment.

The 15th Amendment

And another site from Harper's. This one contains information about black suffrage in the U.S. between the passage of the Constitution and the end of the Civil War, the Reconstruction era debates in Congress about black suffrage, and the passage and ratification of the 15th Amendment.

Relevant Organizations

American Civil Liberties Union

The website for the American Civil Liberties Union. The mission of the ACLU is to preserve the protections and guarantees of the Bill of Rights.

The Federalist Society

The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.

American Constitution Society

ACS is a rapidly growing network of lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers and other concerned individuals. Our mission is to ensure that fundamental principles of human dignity, individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice enjoy their rightful, central place in American law.