Ladies of America

Lady_LibertyFor most Americans, we are familiar with the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty stands on Liberty Island in New York and has for years welcomed people to The Land of the Free, The United States of America. From her left foot she has broken the shackles that held her captive – a representation of how Americans were to be free of oppression and tyranny. As an indirect symbol of America and her birth and therefore her Republic government where all people were to be represented, I cannot help but wonder what poor Miss Liberty thinks of what America has become. Has someone snuck up behind her and reshackled her feet or have we let our vampirous politicians clamp down on her neck and drain her of her liberty blood. I am afraid that like our Founding Fathers, Lady Liberty would be sad to see what we have become.

Lady_JusticeAmerica does have another lady in our lives, though. We don’t hear much about her but she is probably just as important. In our Republic we are great because we have the law on our side. Our government was designed to give the power to the people and have everyone represented. Yes, even better than [mob rule] Democracy as everyone purports (and America is not a Democracy). Representing this idea is Lady Justice.

Lady Justice is normally depicted with a sword in one hand, a scale in the other, and blindfolded. The scale is representative of Justice weighing both sides equally under law while the blindfold is to represent the law being carried out objectively and without favoritism or impartialism. (The sword I would presume would represent the ability to guard the law while justice is being weighed? Please comment if you know what the sword symbolizes).

I think it is amazing at how symbolic this single graphical depiction of justice is. It judges without fear or favor because it cannot tell who it is judging. Evidence is quite simply placed into the scale and she weighs them and decides what the outcome is in accordance with the law is. In essence, it is the scale that decides, not her.

Fast forward to 2009 and we now have President Obama saying that he wants a new Justice that holds the following qualities.

Obama said he valued the ‘quality of empathy’ and was hopeful of finding a new justice who would reflect on people’s ‘hopes and struggles’ in the process of arriving at legal decisions. (link)

I am sure that this does not alarm many people out there, but it does me. Essentially what this means is that when you step into a court room, you are stepping into room where they judge and rule upon how well you can emotionally move them, not how your situation applies to the laws on the book. In simple terms, you will not be convicted (or your defendant will not be found guilty) based on laws but rather flippiant emotions.

It is noteworthy to mention that the outside of the Supreme Court it reads, “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW” not “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER EMOTION AND EMPATHY.”


Maybe Lady Justice should put down her scale and just sit there and see who moves her emotionally instead of weighing the law.

Without law, we have nothing folks.


4 Responses to “Ladies of America”

  1. 1 DN
    27 November 2009 at 13:07

    Sword is for compulsory effect of law. You want “than” instead of “then” in paragraph 2.

  2. 2 Chella the lawyer
    23 December 2010 at 12:46

    The Lady’s sword is double-edged, symbolizing the two concepts of Fairness and Reason. And what Obama meant by his comments was that if one litigant is severely disadvantaged as compared to the other, due to life circumstances, such that for example they cannot afford a lawyer, or if a criminal accused has had a very rough life, that these are things that the court should take into account when rendering a decision and also during the conduct of a trial. He wants the concept of “fairness” to be broadened beyond what is in front of the court at any particular time, in order to level the playing field. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with his comments. He did not, as you suggest, say that a judge needs to be guided by emotion. You are reading far too much into his words and you are not reading them correctly. Obviously you have no real legal training, yourself.

  3. 24 December 2010 at 04:15

    If the law is blind to the person accused, then how can we “level the playing field” by taking into account if the accused had a “very rough life.”

    Maybe I don’t have 12 years of law under my belt… but I surely know that when Lady Liberty is blind… she is blind to everything but the law.

  4. 4 DJ
    13 January 2011 at 03:33


    Regarding your comment “He did not, as you suggest, say that a judge needs to be guided by emotion.” Actually he did, Obama very clearly stated he wanted a Judge who would empathize, “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.” Retrieved from:http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2007/07/17/4439758-obama-on-judges-supreme-court. Clearly emotions and feelings are more important to Obama in picking a judge than the rule of law.

    Regarding the sword, you are incorrect there as well, “…the sword signifies the power that is held by those making the decision” Retrieved from: http://www.statue.com/lady-justice-statues.html

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