U.S. Supreme Court records and briefs are widely available in both electronic and print dating back to the Court's earliest sessions in 1792. Most cases before the Supreme Court are heard at the discretion of the court. Discretionary review is requested when a petitioner files a petition for a writ of certiorari (cert.) explaining the merits of the case and arguing for why the case is a good candidate for Supreme Court review. If cert. is granted by the Court, the case proceeds to a hearing and decision on the merits. Both merits briefs and briefs petitioning for cert. are available, though petitions for cert. in cases where cert. was denied are somewhat more difficult to locate.
U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs Digital Archive, 1832-1978, Making of Modern Law Collection(available to UNC campus)
LexisNexis (UNC Law affiliated users with password)
Westlaw (UNC Law affiliated users with password)
The Law Library maintains records and briefs of the U.S. Supreme Court in print, microfilm, and microform formats. These are especially helpful for those seeking older (pre-1832) briefs) not available online. By date, these include:
1793-present: Landmark Briefs and Arguments of the Supreme Court of the United States: Constitutional Law (KF101.8 .K87; 1st floor)
1792-1831: Appellate Case Files of the Supreme Court of the United States (Microfilm, KF101.9 U54 1962; 2nd floor)
1832-1896: U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs (Microfilm: KF101.9 .U54; 3rd floor).
1895-present: U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs (Microfilm: KF101.9 .U54; 3rd floor).
1952-1968: Oral Arguments of the Supreme Court; 1968-present: Complete Oral Arguments of the Supreme Court (Microfiche: KF101.9 .O65; 3rd floor)