Thursday, May 26, 2016

Oh Yay: Oyez Stays!

Earlier this spring, it seemed like last call for Oyez (pronounced oh-yay), the repository of U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcripts and audio recordings, currently hosted by the Chicago-Kent School of Law. As creator Jerry Goldman neared retirement after a long career as a law professor, he announced that the site would be shuttered at the end of this month unless a buyer was willing to commit to both the six-figure annual operating costs and a buyout for Goldman's two decades of helming the site.

Fortunately for Supreme Court researchers, Oyez has just announced its new home, at Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute. As reported late yesterday in the National Law Journal and on Bob Ambrogi's Law Sites, the shift to Oyez's new host is expected to be in place by the beginning of the Court's next October term. Free Law partner website Justia will provide additional support.

Since its debut in 1996, Oyez has grown to a massive archive of U.S. Supreme Court case information and audio recordings. Audio is available back to 1955, and selected case summaries back to 1793. Audio recordings breathe new life into landmark Supreme Court cases, such as the emotional appeal during oral argument for 1967's Loving v. Virginia, after which the Court unanimously struck down anti-miscegenation laws: "No matter how we articulate this, no matter which theory of the due process clause or which emphasis we attach to, no one can articulate it better than Richard Loving when he said to me, 'Mr. Cohen, tell the Court I love my wife and it is just unfair that I can't live with her in Virginia.'"

Additional research resources for accessing U.S. Supreme Court oral argument transcripts, opinions, and case summaries are listed in the Goodson Law Library research guide. These include SCOTUSblog, with case materials back to 2007, and the American Bar Association Supreme Court Preview, which archives merits and amicus briefs back to 2003. For help locating other U.S. Supreme Court materials, be sure to Ask a Librarian.