U.S. judicial system

Zahid Quraishi holding hand up (© Tom Williams/AP Images)

Zahid Quraishi, a son of immigrants, confirmed as first Muslim federal...

Zahid Quraishi was recently confirmed as America's first Muslim to serve as a federal judge. Learn more about this son of Pakistani immigrants.
Illustration of 19th-century cargo schooner offshore, with Africans in rowboat arriving at the shore (© The History Collection/Alamy)

How the Amistad helped America live up to its ideals

The Amistad case helped dozens of Africans escape slavery and forced America to live up to its founding ideals. Read more about it here.
People around casket covered in U.S. flag in room with statues (© Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)

Americans honor a champion of equality

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died at the age of 87, was honored with events at the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Capitol.
Illustration of woman in suit and glasses standing in courtroom with arms akimbo (State Dept./D. Thompson)

What does a public defender do in the U.S.?

Public defenders back criminal defendants in the U.S. who can't afford a private attorney and are at risk of going to prison. Learn how they came to be.
Illustration of a police officer standing under the scales of justice (State Dept./D. Thompson)

How police are held accountable in the U.S.

When a U.S. police officer is involved in a deadly incident, departments - often with civilian oversight - investigate to decide next steps.
Illustration showing judge's gavel lying on laptop with drawing promoting a vaccine on its screen (State Dept./D. Thompson)

U.S. cracks down on COVID-19 scams

The U.S. Department of Justice shut down a website pushing a bogus COVID-19 vaccine. Learn how the agency is protecting Americans from other scams.
Illustration of elected official standing with local government service providers (State Dept./D. Thompson)

Local government: Mayors, police, school boards get the job done

Americans interact most with local governments, which provide services from public safety to school standards. This is part of a series on U.S. federalism.
Illustration of a federal government canopy standing over the U.S. statehouses (State Dept./Doug Thompson)

State government: Where innovation often flows

America's 50 states are known as “laboratories of democracy” because they try policy ideas often adopted elsewhere. This is part of a series on federalism.
Illustration of buildings with arrows leading to others of different sizes and people (State Dept./Doug Thompson)

Federal government: More than the White House and Congress

Learn more about the federal government in the United States. This article is part of a three-part series on how federalism works in America.