Joseph Ranney, author of Wisconsin and the Shaping of American Law
“State legal systems are at the core of American life,” writes Joseph “Jay” Ranney. “Most aspects of our daily lives—family relationships, business dealings, social interactions—are governed by state laws, yet scholars and the news media devote most of their attention to federal laws and courts.” Ranney’s new book, Wisconsin and the Shaping of American Law, attempts to correct that oversight. Using Wisconsin’s colorful and influential history to help tell the story, Ranney looks at how state laws have evolved and shaped American history. From the origins of Wisconsin’s legal system, to the Progressive Era, to recent battles over school vouchers, voting, and abortion, Ranney details how Wisconsin has played a national leadership role on many important legal issues. Ranney is the Adrian P. Schoone Visiting Fellow in Wisconsin Law and Legal Institutions at Marquette University Law School. He is the author of several books and a partner with the firm DeWitt Ross & Stevens in Madison.