Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States

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 of Decisions 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 or Lawyers' Edition.

The Reporter of Decisions is appointed by the Supreme Court.


The first two reporters acted in an unofficial capacity. Only in 1816, after the Supreme Court had existed for a quarter-century, did Congress create an official post of reporter. It then added a $1,000 a year salary in the Judiciary Act of 1817. The reporter also 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 official title of this officer was changed from "Reporter" to "Reporter of Decisions" in 1953, to clarify the duties of the office at the request of Reporter Walter Wyatt with the authorization of Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson.

List of Reporters

The reporters of decisions are listed here with their tenures and the volumes of the United States Reports they edited. Until volume 90, the volumes were also known by the name of the reporter and the numbers of those "nominative reports" are listed after the U.S. Reports numbers. The post was vacant from Ernest Knaebel's death in 1944 and until 1946, at which point his replacement Walter Wyatt was chosen. Wyatt retroactively edited the United States Reports for those years, making volumes 322 to 325.

#NameTermVolumes edited
1Alexander J. Dallas1790–18001–4 (1–4 Dallas)
2William Cranch1801–18155–13 (1–9 Cranch)
3Henry Wheaton1816–182714–25 (1–12 Wheat.)
4Richard Peters1828–184226–41 (1–16 Pet.)
5Benjamin Chew Howard1843–186042–65 (1–24 How.)
6Jeremiah Sullivan Black1861–186266–67 (1–2 Black)
7John William Wallace1863–187468–90 (1–23 Wall.)
8William Tod Otto1875–188391–107
9John Chandler Bancroft Davis1883–1902108–186
10Charles Henry Butler1902–1916187–241
11Ernest Knaebel1916–1944242–321
N/AOffice vacant1944-1946N/A (volumes 322–325
later edited by Wyatt)
12Walter Wyatt1946–1963322–375
13Henry Putzel Jr.1964–1979376–444
14Henry Curtis Lind1979–1987440–479
15Frank D. Wagner1987–2010480–561
16Christine Luchok Fallon2011–now562–

See also


  1. "See 28 U.S.C. §673(c)". Retrieved 2008-06-06.
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