THE IDEAL JUDGE AND THE PARTIAL JUDGE
Part I begins with the ideal judge--an ideal impossible of human realization because the judge was conceived as divine. The divine model was apparently necessary to break out the judge's impartial role in societies where blood relationship and the rule of reciprocity governed.
Other symbols of impartiality such as the blindfold and the scales became important adjuncts in creating the standard of a judge above the litigants and the interests of the litigants. Important as these symbols have been, they risked creating an image of a judge that masked completely the play of human personality in judging. Section A looks at the images, and Section B, at the mask.
There is an ideal judge, never quite realized in human experience. At the other extreme, there have been real judges so depraved in character or forgetful of function as to systematically take money for their judging. We have not scrupled to denominate such judges monsters: They show how far human judges can depart from the ideal. Section C is devoted to them.
Neither ideal nor monsters are judges who are seriously affected by influences outside the case, by factors not on the record before them. The recurrent influence is politics--the politics of a political party, the politics of a great cause, the politics of money in campaign financing. The judge who has to pay for office or the judge who has to raise money to campaign for office seriously risks his or her integrity. The judge who is responsible to a political party is not much better. Is the judge different who treats the court as a political body responsible for major political change? Does the nobility of the cause make a difference, or the fact that the court is "supreme"? Section D explores these and related questions.