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Blue Book comments to:
Blue Book Editor
Wisconsin's progressive tradition has created close ties between its people and their government. Residents of our great state expect their leaders to look out for their interests and protect their civil liberties. Elected officials instate government work hard to do just that: passing and signing into law legislation that strives to improve the quality of life in Wisconsin. However, it is the third branch of government - the court system, composed of non-elected officials-that works diligently, and often in obscurity, to uphold those laws, the rights of the people of Wisconsin, and the purest pursuit of justice.
Statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke once said that justice is the "great standing policy of civil society." Indeed, the noble pursuit of justice is the underpinning of every level of government and would not be possible without the judicial branch, as illustrated in this year's feature article, "The Wisconsin Court System: Demystifying the Judicial Branch." I am especially pleased to write the introductory letter for this edition of the Wisconsin Blue Book because, as a former Attorney General and the son of a judge, my respect for the law runs deep; and as Governor, I have seen first-hand the invaluable role Wisconsin's courts play in upholding and advancing for our liberties, freedom, and democracy.
I believe that our Justice system only works when it works for all of us, and to do that, it must reflect the great diversity and the boundless optimism of Wisconsin's people. This past year marked a new beginning for the Wisconsin Supreme Court with the appointment of Justice Louis Butler, the first African-American Justice in Wisconsin history. Justice Butler joins a Supreme Court composed of three other men and three women, including the first-ever woman appointment, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson. Now, more than ever before, our highest court is more representative of our great state, our communities, and our people.
Every two years, our state publishes this Blue Book - an invaluable resource for citizens who wish to be well informed and actively engaged in the entire democratic process. It is the story of Wisconsin, its government, and its people, and I hope that you will no only use it, but enjoy it.