Great Resources: HeinOnline — History of Supreme Court Nominations

Our series on HeinOnline’s digital collections continues.  For Part I, on the Congress and the Courts library, go here.

Another electronic library available through HeinOnline and Coleman Karesh’s electronic resources is called “History of Supreme Court Nominations.”  The database offers materials on both successful and unsuccessful Supreme Court nominations, starting with Justice Brandeis and going all the way through to Justice Kagan.  The available materials vary from nominee to nominee, but generally include transcripts of the nominations of potential justices; transcripts of confirmation hearings before the judiciary committee; presidential documents and statements about the nominees; congressional roll call votes on the nominations; selected opinions from a nominee’s time on a court of appeals or district court; briefs and oral arguments of some of the nominees during their time as practicing attorneys; and selected writings or articles by or about a nominee.heinonline-logo

There are noticeably more volumes on some of the more controversial nominees, or those whose confirmation hearings were particularly long or detailed.  For example, a nominee who was confirmed (or dismissed) with little or no disagreement may have only a single volume, or be grouped together with other nominees in one volume.  Unsuccessful nominee Robert Bork and successful but controversial Justice Thomas have the most volumes.  The resources available provide a user with a good overview of a justice’s career before coming to the Supreme Court, and a good insight into the often unpleasant process of Senate confirmation hearings.

To access the History of Supreme Courts Nominations library, go to and select HeinOnline.