Resolution on U.S. Supreme Court Slip Opinions

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Endorsed by the AALL Executive Board, April 5, 2003

WHEREAS, In June 2002, the U.S. Government Printing Office ended print distribution of U.S. Supreme Court Slip Opinions to federal depository libraries; and,

WHEREAS, The law library community is very concerned that the Government Printing Office may similarly cease print depository distribution of Supreme Court Preliminary Prints, officially known as Official Reports of the Supreme Court; and,

WHEREAS, The Government Printing Office is relying instead on public access to the electronic versions of the Slip Opinions and Official Reports on the Supreme Court's Web site, despite the fact that the electronic versions of these titles are neither official nor authoritative; and,

WHEREAS, The print versions of these publications are the only official and authoritative versions of Supreme Court decisions prior to the publication of the United States Reports; and,

WHEREAS, The distribution of the print versions of Supreme Court Slip Opinions and Official Reports to depository libraries in fact meets the requirements for tangible distribution to depository libraries, as defined in Superintendent of Documents Policy Statement 71, sections 4. b. and e; and,

WHEREAS, The United States Reports, the final, official version of U.S. Supreme Court decisions superseding the Slip Opinions and Official Reports, is currently the only one of these three important titles on the Government Printing Office's list of Essential Titles for Public Use in Paper Formats; and,

WHEREAS, The publication and distribution to depository libraries of the United States Reports is delayed, thus depriving depository library users of the official and authoritative version of Supreme Court opinions for many years; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the U.S. Government Printing Office should reinstate the option for depository libraries to select the print U.S. Supreme Court Slip Opinions because the electronic version is neither authoritative nor official, and like many other legal resources, the Slip Opinions are of significant reference value to most types of depository libraries; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the U.S. Government Printing Office should add Slip Opinions and Official Reports of the Supreme Court to the list of Essential Titles for Public Use in Paper Format; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this resolution be forwarded to AALL's Washington Office and the Depository Library Council for further action.