Traditionally, Justice is shown as a woman holding scales and wearing a blindfold. For those who have not considered why that might be, we also have a saying that “justice is blind” meaning that it is interested in truth and not appearance. We are told that man looks on the outside but only God can see the heart. Justice realizes the truth of this statement and does its best to get to the heart of the matter.
Well, perhaps that used to be the case. In his announcement that he will be seeking a replacement for Justice Souter, President Obama had the following to say:
I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people’s hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving as just decisions and outcomes. I will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limits of the judicial role. I will seek somebody who shares my respect for constitutional values on which this nation was founded, and who brings a thoughtful understanding of how to apply them in our time.
Justice is not known to identify with “hopes and struggles.” As far as references to the constitution go, it is apparently now “traditions” and “values” rather than foundational law. If President Obama finds someone who shares his respect for that document, we can expect little to no respect for the rule of law at all.