Answered By: Kate Britt
Last Updated: Dec 08, 2023     Views: 1238

For decisions since 1875, citations to the United States Reports (volumes 91-date) follow the now-standard citation: [vol] U.S. [pg] (year).

For decisions before 1875, citations include the U.S. Reports editor's last name and the volume number relative to that editor. The citation is [vol] U.S. (# ed.) [pg] (year)

For example:

  • Johnson v. M'Intosh, 21 U.S. (8 Wheat.) 543 (1823)
    • 21st volume of U.S. Reports.
    • Henry Wheaton was the editor of this volume.
    • This was the 8th volume of which Henry Wheaton was the editor.
    • Case starts on page 543.

U.S. Reports years and volumes, aligned with its first seven editors, are as follows:


Years U.S. Reports volumes Name of Editor Volume Citations
1790-1800    1-4 Alexander J. Dallas (1-4 Dallas)
1801-1815 5-13 William Cranch (1-9 Cranch)
1816-1827 14-25 Henry Wheaton (1-12 Wheat.)
1828-1842 26-41 Richard Peters (1-16 Pet.)
1843-1860 42-65 Benjamin Chew Howard  (1-24 How.)
1861-1862 66-67 Jeremiah Sullivan Black (1-2 Black)
1863-1874 68-90 John William Wallace (1-23 Wall.)


In the Twenty-first Edition of the Bluebook, Table T1.1 lists preferred citations to Supreme Court reporters.

See also: Dates of Supreme Court decisions : United States reports, volumes 2-107 , August term 1791-October term, 1882 (Ref Coll KF101.6 .A86 1997)

Comments (2)

  1. Did Wallace report the date of filing in lieu of the date of decision?
    by vanvonu on Dec 23, 2023
  2. @vanvonu I'm not sure, but the SCOTUS site has an informative page regarding dates of early SCOTUS decisions and arguments.
    by Kate Britt on Jan 02, 2024

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