Educational resources for teachers
Blue Book explores Wisconsin court system
Ever wonder how a grand jury inquiry differs from a John Doe investigation? How the Supreme Court determines which justice will author the opinion in any given case? How District II of the Court of Appeals came to be headquartered in Waukesha, just down the road from District I in Milwaukee? When judicial elections in Wisconsin became non-partisan?
The 2005-06 Wisconsin Blue Book has the answers in an 85-page feature story (external link) that illuminates the Wisconsin court system, the third – and some might say least understood – branch of state government.
The article explains in plain English the court system's structure and procedures, including how criminal and civil actions begin, how juries are selected, and how the appeals courts operate. It features a timeline of important events in court system history, information on alternatives to court, and 44 color photographs that offer glimpses inside circuit courtrooms, showcase courthouse art, and go behind the scenes at the Supreme Court.
Also highlighted are current issues facing the judiciary, including keeping politics out of judicial elections, balancing privacy against public access to case records, and safeguarding access to justice for the state's growing population of non-English-speakers.