The Rise of the Supreme Court Reporter: An Institutional Perspective on Marshall Court Ascendancy

This Article will first explore the antecedents to, and beginnings of, the reporter system under Alexander J. Dallas and William Cranch. Next, the Article will examine the transformation of the system under the Court’s first official Reporter, the scholarly Henry Wheaton. Finally, the Article will recount the struggle between Wheaton and his more practical successor, Richard Peters, Jr., that culminated in 1834 in the Court’s declaration that its decisions are the property of the people of the United States, and not of the Court’s Reporters.