Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States

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The Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States is the official charged with editing and publishing the opinions of the Supreme Court of the United States, both when announced and when they are published in permanent bound volumes of the United States Reports. The reporter is responsible for only the contents of the United States Reports issued by the Government Printing Office, first in preliminary prints and later in the final bound volumes.[1] The reporter is not responsible for the editorial content of unofficial reports of the Court's decisions, such as the privately published Supreme Court Reporter and Lawyers' Edition.

By federal statute, the reporter is appointed by the Supreme Court.[2] The current reporter is Christine Luchok Fallon. She began her service in 2011 and is the first woman to hold the office.[3]


The first two reporters acted in an unofficial capacity. Only in 1817, did Congress create the statutory office of reporter, with a $1,000 a year salary. The early reporters profited from selling the printed volumes of the reports of decisions. In 1874, Congress for the first time appropriated funds to publish the volumes of the court's opinions; from that time the report was known as the United States Reports and numbering began as if the first volume by the first reporter, Alexander J. Dallas, was number one. The Government Printing Office took over publication of the United States Reports in 1922. The title of Court's reporter was changed to "Reporter of Decisions" in 1953, to clarify the duties of the office.[4]

List of reporters[edit]

The 16 Reporters of Decisions are listed here with their tenures and the volumes of the United States Reports they edited. Through volume 90, the volumes were also known by the name of the reporter and the numbers of those "nominative reports" are listed after the United States Reports numbers.

Name Tenure Volumes edited
1 Alexander J. Dallas 1790–1800 1–4 (1–4 Dallas)
2 William Cranch 1801–1815 5–13 (1–9 Cranch)
3 Henry Wheaton 1816–1827 14–25 (1–12 Wheat.)
4 Richard Peters 1828–1842 26–41 (1–16 Pet.)
5 Benjamin Chew Howard 1843–1860 42–65 (1–24 How.)
6 Jeremiah S. Black 1861–1862 66–67 (1–2 Black)
7 John William Wallace 1863–1874 68–90 (1–23 Wall.)
8 William Tod Otto 1875–1883 91–107
9 J. C. Bancroft Davis 1883–1902 108–186
10 Charles Henry Butler 1902–1916 187–241
11 Ernest Knaebel 1916–1944 242–321
Office vacant 1944–1946 322–325[a]
12 Walter Wyatt 1946–1963 326–375
13 Henry Putzel Jr. 1964–1979 376–444
14 Henry Curtis Lind 1979–1987 445–479
15 Frank D. Wagner 1987–2010 480–561
16 Christine Luchok Fallon 2011–Incumbent 562–
  1. ^ Volumes 322–325 (1944-1946) were retroactively edited by Walter Wyatt after he became Reporter of Decisions in 1946.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ See: 28 U.S.C. § 673c
  2. ^ See: 3 Stat. 376
  3. ^ Arberg, Kathleen (March 7, 2011). "Christine L. Fallon Named Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court of the U.S." Washington, D.C.: Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  4. ^ "Court Officers and Staff: Reporter of Decisions". Washington, D.C.: Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  5. ^ Joyce, Craig. "Reporters of Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States". Public Law and Legal Theory Series 2005-A-11. Houston, Texas: University of Houston Law Center. SSRN 800884. Retrieved February 23, 2020. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)