Politics of Judicial Interpretation

Instructor: Daniel Kato

Personal Librarian: TBD. If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, please schedule a research consultation.



CLIO is the search and discovery system for the Columbia University Libraries. For tips on how to the QuickSearch feature works and what it searches, consult the QuickSearch guide


Tips on Finding Books

One strategy for finding books in CLIO is to start with keywords related to your research, then look at the subject headings that are listed in the catalog record.  Start by entering concepts and/or the name of the country you are investigating.  For example:
"judicial interpretation" "international law"
From the list of results, click on a title, such as "Interpretation of Law in the Global World" and look at the other subject headings listed. You can click on the subject heading to find books on related topics.  
The Columbia Law Library is now searchable through CLIO, but to check the status of a book (whether or not it is checked out or available), it is necessary to click on the link to Pegasus, the catalog of the Columbia Law Library. 
If you are researching a topic that covers education, please be aware that the collections of the Columbia Teachers College Gottesman Library is not included in CLIO.  Be sure to consult the Gottesman Libraries catalog when searching for education-related books and other materials. 
Also keep in mind that if a book is checked out or not in held by any Columbia Library, you can request the book through BorrowDirecta consortium of the libraries of Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale, in addition to select libraries of Harvard, MIT, and the University of Chicago. Items requested through BorrowDirect are typically delivered within 3 to 4 business days with a 6-week loan period + one 6-week renewal.


Tips on Finding Research Articles

Use a similar strategy when looking for articles on your topic, only when searching for articles, it is often possible, perhaps even necessary to use more specific keywords. For example, enter: 
"judicial interpretation" "equal protection clause" schools
At the list of results, you can use the facets on the lefthand side of the screen to narrow your results to "Scholarly publications only."  This will help you find articles from journals that have gone through a rigourous peer review process. 


Law Reviews and Legal Analysis

HeinOnline contains numerous library collections, such as the Law Journal Library, the Federal Register Library, the Treaties and Agreements Library, and the U.S. Supreme Court Library. Two major advantages of using HeinOnline for law review articles are:  (1) the scope of coverage (in terms of years available) is generally much more extensive than Westlaw and LexisNexis; and (2) articles are available in their original format in PDF. However, depending on the journal, coverage may lag a year or two behind the most current issues.
LexisNexis Academic is a full-text news, business, legal, medical, and reference information database availalble to all Barnard and Columbia students. To search full-text law reviews and journals, scroll down the list of legal sources under "US Legal" and click on the "Law Reviews" link. Note that you may limit by a legal topic or search all U.S. Law Reviews & Journals.

Supreme Court Cases and Analysis

Supreme Court of the United States is the Court's official website.  The docket page provides information regarding the status of cases for both the current term and the prior term. Users can search by using a Supreme Court docket number, a lower court docket number, or a case name. There are also links to court rules, opinions, and orders. The opinions are posted on this site within hours after the bench opinions are issued and remain posted until the opinions are published in a bound volume of the U.S. Reports.
Findlaw offers a searchable database of Supreme Court opinions since 1893. Browsable by year and U.S. Reports volume number and searchable by citation, case name and full text.
Legal Information Institute (LII) from Cornell University Law School provides access to current U.S. Supreme Court decisions since 1990 and a selection of over 600 historic decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. Finding aids include case name lists, topical lists, and authorship lists.
Oyez provides access to cases from 1792 to present. Oyez provides a summary of the facts of the case, question(s) presented, and the Court's conclusion. Links to the full text opinion provided by Justia. In addition, the Oyez Project is a multimedia archive devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States. It aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. The site also reports voting details in every case back to 1953.
Supreme Court Yearbook (CQ) provides in-depth coverage and analysis of every Supreme Court decision from 1989 to date.
The Making of Modern Law: Supreme Court contains records and briefs brought before the U.S. Supreme Court in the period 1832-1978.


Other Sources for Legal and Governmental Information and Analysis

Congressional Publications (Proquest) indexes information produced by or pertaining to the United States Congress from 1789 to the present.
Congress.gov is the official website for U.S. federal legislative information.Congressional documents from the first 100 years of the U.S. Congress (1774-1875) can be accessed through Century of Lawmaking.
CQ.com tracks legislation before Congress and alerts users to late-breaking news and updated Hill schedules, status of bills and bill summaries, committee coverage with votes and markups, transcripts of select oral testimony and all written submitted testimony, votes analysis, member biographies, daily news wrap-up, nonpartisan articles on policy topics, status of bills, comparisons of competing versions of bills, and coverage of appropriations.
FDSYS (GPO) provides free online access to official Federal Government publications and securely controls digital content throughout its lifecycle to ensure content integrity and authenticity.
LLI Global is a source for Internet-accessible constitutions, statutes, judicial opinions, and related legal material from around the globe.
LLMC Digital provides rare and valuable digitized documents from the law collections of research libraries. 


Introduction to Basic Legal Citation does as the name implies, provides a basic introduction to the what and why of legal citations, providing samples based on the 19th edition of The Bluebook

Research and Documentation Online by Diana Hacker (Bedford Handbook), covers citation formats in the APA, Chicago, MLA, and Turabian styles.

Zotero is a free tool for managing citations, organizing research, storing documents,sharing your references with others, and creating fomatted bibliographies, footnotes, and in-text citations. For detailed tips on installing and using Zotero, consult the library's Zotero guide.