Bar News - October 6, 2006
SCOTUS Transcripts Available Same Day
Beginning with the current term, the Supreme Court of the United States will make the transcripts of oral arguments available free to the public on its Web site, www.supremecourtus.gov, on the same day an argument is heard by the Court.
“This is one of the most important innovations, in terms of public access, by the new Chief Justice, John G. Roberts, Jr.,” according to Lyle Denniston, of Scotusblog.com. “For years, the idea of same-day release of transcripts of every argument has been rejected despite repeated requests from the media and other public entities.”
In the past, the transcripts were posted on the Web site approximately two weeks after the close of an argument session. Transcripts could be obtained sooner than they were posted on the Web site by making arrangements in advance and purchasing them from the Court’s contract reporting service. Also, oral arguments were transcribed off-site from audio recordings.
The Court’s current contract reporting service, Alderson Reporting Company, will now use the services of a court reporter in the courtroom and high-speed technology to transcribe the oral arguments more quickly.
Transcripts can be located by clicking on the “Oral Arguments” prompt on the home page of the Court’s Web site and selecting “Argument Transcripts.” Transcripts will be listed by case name and the date of oral argument.
Transcripts are permanently archived, beginning with the 2000 term, on the Web site. Transcripts prior to the 2000 term are maintained at the Supreme Court Library.