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U.S. Supreme Court Research Guide: Researching Justices

Justices of the Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Justices are unique figures in the realm of political, legal, and cultural history. As individuals, they are preeminent legal scholars who are in the public eye for decades. As Justices, they make decisions that can affect the course of United States government, law, and private lives for centuries.

This page describes different types of material related to individual Justices and where such materials can be found.

Case Law and Voting

The resources below denote the way each Justice voted in a particular case.

The following resources provide links to the Opinions, concurrences, and dissents written by a particular Justice, organized by Justice.

Oyez denotes which Justice wrote the Opinion of the Court and any accompanying concurrences or dissents, but does not provide for a search of all the opinions written by a particular Justice.

Scholarship and Biographical

The Law Library collection includes many biographies and autobiographical materials about Supreme Court justices, both contemporary and historical. To find what is available in the MLaw catalog, perform a Subject search using the Subject Heading "Judges -- United States -- Biography." You can also limit your search by using a particular Justice's name as a keyword.

The University Library collection is a rich source of Supreme Court justice biographies. Search the U-M Library catalog for the Subject " United States. Supreme Court Biography" or "United States. Supreme Court Officials and employees Biography." Refine your results by including a Justice's name as a keyword.

Many online sources of Supreme Court documents include sections with biographical information about Justices, including the Court's own website.

Beyond their written Court opinions, Supreme Court Justices are often prolific legal scholars with books, law journal articles, and other publications to their names.

In the MLaw Catalog or the University Library Catalog ("U-M Library Search"), conduct an advanced search using the Justice's name as Author.

In HeinOnline, go to Advanced Search and search for the Justice's name in the Author field. Often these results will contain case opinions, but the Refine Your Search sidebar allows you to weed out unwanted results. Under Section Type select Articles, or under Collection/Library select Law Journal Library or other relevant collections. You can further refine by date, topic, and specific Law Review (under "Title").

Article II, section 2, clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution provides:

"The president shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States . . . . "

The following resources offer access to primary and secondary material on Supreme Court Justice nominations.

Use the link below to browse the Law Library's collection of materials on Supreme Court nominations and hearings, both of specific justices and of the issue generally.

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