The US Supreme Court has launched its new website. This has a new URL – – and a number of new features.  These include: recent Court decisions accessible from the homepage, an interactive Court calendar, a new case citation finder and enhanced search and navigation capabilities.  The “Court calendar” and the document search facilities have attracted particular praise from Supreme Court watchers in the US.  For the first time, the website will now be run by the Court itself – its previous site having been run the by Government Printing Office. 

The site contains a number of features which are badly needed in our own Supreme Court website – in particular, down the right hand side it makes available hearing transcripts and “Merits Briefs” (that is, the printed cases of the parties).  The continuing unavailability of these for the UKSC is a source of concern and regret and a serious barrier to transparency and understanding.

Our sister site, ScotUS Blog reported the launch of the new website in its Friday round up:

The blogosphere is buzzing today over yesterday’s rollout of the Supreme Court’s new website.  The updated page, which features a user-friendly calendar, accessible links to recent decisions, and a straightforward search function, will be managed by the Court itself; the old site was run by the Government Printing Office.  Lyle reported on the launch of the new website this morning on this blog, while at the BLT, Tony Mauro jokes that the update “bring[s] the site into the 21st century only a few years late.” ACSblog and Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy comment on the update today as well.

The daily “Resource Shelf” newsletter has a piece on the new website here.  The “Sunlight Foundation” which campaigns for “transparency” in Government welcomes the new site, but suggests some improvements (which could usefully be noted by our own Supreme Court website)

  • The webpage needs to provide more information about what the Court is doing, explaining legal terms of art, and grouping relevant information together (such as information pertaining to a particular case).
  • It should incorporate a user-friendly advanced search engine.
  • Use machine-readable formats (not just PDFs).