Why does Lady Justice Wear a Blindfold?


“EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER THE LAW” – These are the words engraved above the main entrance to the Supreme Court Building. The most recognized legal symbol visible in the architecture of the building is the female figure representing Justice.

Blind Justice is the theory that law should be viewed objectively with the determination of innocence or guilt made without bias or prejudice. It is the idea behind the United States Supreme Court motto “Equal Justice Under Law” and is symbolized by the blindfolded statue of Lady Justice which is the symbol of the judiciary.

Describing the sort of “Equal Justice” Supreme Court judge he was looking for, Obama said:

“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’ll be selecting my judges.”

Earlier this month Obama said he would nominate a person who combines “empathy and understanding” with an impeccable legal background

“Who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a case book. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives.”

That “abstract legal theory” Obama referred to is more commonly known as the United States Constitution, a document he has in the past derided as fundamentally flawed.  

A Supreme Court Justice takes the following oath:

    “I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as (title) under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

Apparently, Barack Obama is seeking a Supreme Court justice who will violate their sworn oath to administer justice impartially. He believes the figure of Justice should lift her blindfold in order to be partial to certain categories of persons. 

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33 Responses to Why does Lady Justice Wear a Blindfold?

  1. If all Supreme Court rulings are merely the impersonal and mechanical application of constitutional law, why is it that Supreme Court justices VOTE on issues, and why are such votes not always unanimous? I suspect you would prefer a single computer to be in charge of the Supreme Court. Thankfully, that is not the case. There are perceptually and intellectually and emotionally unimpaired human beings on that bench – in accordance with the intention of those who wrote the US Constitution. Wise men.

    • Coline says:

      It’s not what Obama said at all and I think this article is deliberatly obtuse. He said he wish for someone with empathy for a better understanding of every case; not someone with a bias.
      But, of course, if we start to scream partiality when it said empathy, maybe we should start our protest with a definition from the dictionary because there is no Understanding, Judgement and/or Empathy without education.

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  3. 1389AD says:

    Justice is blindfolded? Not with Obozo and Eric Holder in office. Click [HERE] and scroll down to see what Obozo’s hypothetical son would have looked and acted like.

    I realize that the Lord loveth not the death of the unrighteous. That said, the US becomes a safer place (including and especially for black Americans) every time a ghetto thug dies.

  4. M. R. Wilde says:

    The standard response is it represents impartial justice. The goddess or angel of justice cannot see whether those coming before her are rich or poor, powerful or weak… blah, blah, blah.

    If Lady Justice is blindfolded, how can she make a correct judgment if she can’t see the scales?

    How can she wield her sword if she can’t see what she’s striking?

    It’s no coincidence that Lady Justice is blindfolded because that’s the way justice works…blindly!

    And that’s why it’s often the case where the more heinous the crime, the less the time.

    They don’t call it “criminal justice” instead of “victim justice” for nothing!


  5. Elizabeth thomsen says:

    The lady justice is fair to all as well as understanding, she may be young but she is wiser than others realize behind her eyes. She never need to see the scale nor the sword to protect, she know where to go and strike because she has been there before others (she also isn’t really blind). She has no empathy because their is no emotion in a court room. Never the less if it is not that day she will serve you then this means others needed her more. How sad for those that can never understand this. We are all part of a bigger purpose and she is the truth that shines which is why she holds the flame up high so everyone can see. She never needed to speak before i wonder why others ask this of her now?

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  8. OldDave says:

    Obama, the master of semantic deception. Need another example: Affordable Care Act.

  9. lulu hussein says:

    ugh this doesnt help me for my project for school

  10. pls i to know full story why is it a woman is using as a symbol of justice instead of a man?

  11. Janet Fresh Clinton says:

    Hello as an alumni, I would like to know if CTU offers any college free courses in Microsoft excel, word documents etc.

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  13. jesse says:

    do the right thing the first time. in our heart everyone knows what it is.

  14. Galya says:

    She is blind mean nobody see that justice exist every second. Reality is just. What ever happen is justice. Nature is just at every moment. No need for human courts. People seek justice in court because think (and it illusion mean not real) that there some injustice happening so they have to go court to get justice.
    I give example. Woman came to me complaining about man wanting to kill her so she had to
    Put IVO against him so he wont come close. Then she sad she don’t want to live as don’t like society. Now -she want to die nature sent her killer to fulfill her wish and she is BLIND to reality
    So go police for justice . Man in trouble. Man not guilty as he helping her to die which is her wish.
    She is not innocent victim as asking for death. Court which is BLIND make judgement man guilty
    What blind goddess represent is that human justice is blind. Humans blind (Jesus was saying it as he saw what I see). But nature always just at every second.
    Now you do understand what enlightened say “I am not guilty , nobody guilty”. Now you understand why Jesus sad “Set all prisoners free”. As nobody guilty. There is no innocent victims.
    It human folse concept.

  15. Darrell Stevens says:

    I thought that we lived in a democratic country. If this is so, then how can a few judges make such a controversial , and unfair judgment on same sex marriage?!! They took our voice, as well as our right to vote when they did that! They also broke one of God’s commandments! They put their hand on the Bible just to break God’s law!!

  16. Eleuterio P. Ong Vaño says:

    Lady Justice blindfolded? Let the blindfold fall lest justice fails. It is about time to do so to make this classic but outdated symbolism more relevant and realistic and in accordance with law which mandates a judge in court not only to hear the arguments and oral testimonies but also and more importantly to see, read and study the documentary pieces of evidence presented before the court and even to keenly observe the demeanor or misdemeanor of the litigants and their witnesses with his or her own eyes.

    Of course, we are told that the blindfold is meant to serve merely as a symbol or reminder to the public, particularly to the litigants in court, that Lady Justice is neutral and is not biased and does not discriminate for or against the social and financial status of the litigants, much less the color of their skin.

    But it appears that, blindfolded, whether taken literally or as a figure of speech, Lady Justice is not being trusted for her objectivity and competent understanding of justice. She is made to decide based on the weight of evidence presented before her blindfolded eyes and her weighing scale.

    Nonetheless, Lady Justice can still hear and listen. Only her eyes are blindfolded. No wonder, it is called a court hearing. But how come hearsays are generally not admissible in court? Perhaps, Lady Justice is given a sole and exclusive judicial discretion to admit what she can only hear.

    But that may be a bottomline or under the table problem in the judicial system – because whenever and wherever we do something good, the devil is not far behind and devils speak in whispers.

    Cebu City, Philippines


    No body is above the law , so justice is blind

  18. Alan Ross says:

    The statement of President Obama taken literally seems off-base. In the meantime, coldness or non-empathy is not the same as objective justice. Real justice takes in the thoughts and feelings of all litigants, and then decides what is right. There must be a passion for justice or ego or disrespect will rule. What has been wrong is that the feelings of rich litigants and even corporations have been given much more respect than that of millions of poor persons. The Roberts Court routinely decides it’s cases that way. What an abomination, and very much against their oath! It is also anti-American as the fundamental vale of America is that all men are created equal and even the Supreme Court has the little honored saying on its building “Equal justice under law..”

    I am not a supporter of the President but real respect demands use of his title at least the first time you mention him. Ultimately justice and honest respect are the same thing.

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  21. Hugh Mayle says:

    Lady Justice is often depicted as being blind or blindfolded because “the determination of innocence or guilt is made without bias or prejudice”. In reality she is blind so that people can lead her where they want.

  22. Iffat Ara says:

    Why the blindfolded statue is a female, why not male? What this female structure stands for?

  23. Irene Kurakina says:

    As I know The Lady of Justice symbolizes the fairness in judicial system. So a judge to make decision in sentencing supposed to be blind folded and keep scale in equilibrium. But this doesn’t apply to the judge in juvenile or family court in Prince William County of the State of Virginia. Judge is like a marionette of Social Service(S.S.) and Child Protection Dept (CPD), As one official said:” Judge knows them, ( means people from above mentioned departments), but he doesn’t know you ( means victims of that departments)” . Judge follows their recommendations or directions in his decision. They fabricate a case, represent to judge at court session and judge says you are right, (means SS or CPD ), without asking the victims of that government institution or even looking in paper. To take children from loving family, to prison parents, to put whole family in horrible situation, all of these are decision of SS, not judge’s. Some of these happened with my family. Case was obviously fabricated by CPD, four times we got summons to court, it was wasting of tax payers money. The court hearing was a real masquerade to show the democracy. Judge pretends he is making decision . Who needed this-SS to keep their budget enormously high and rooms filed up of so called workers. I would not describe details why it happened. If someone will be interested I can give more details. Thank you for reading this note.

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  25. James says:

    It is the blind leading the blind… Long ago days of yore Justice was served by those who were strong… “The strong shall survive”… That wasn’t just a funny saying…
    Since the 16th century… Lady Justice has been blind… Prior to that she was known as, Justitia, 13 CE… Justitia was not blindfolded prior to the 16th century… As many know who have followed history to the letter.
    Justice was served with a mighty sword by the strong… The scales of Justice were indeed a sign of acknowledgement to pay for your rights… Are we so unintelligent that before us we know not what a sword is meant for are we so unintelligent as not to know that the scale was invented for bartering…
    Many Souls this day and age, in the 21st century, and Way Pryor, serve Justice with their own Mighty swords and we shutter when they do but they do.
    The mighty who care not of that blind soul with a sword and the scale bring their own scales and they exact a tilt in their favor, along they bring a mighty sword…fear you weak fear, shutter for the mighty are the souls who exact right! Lady Justice or not, fear the mighty!
    Lol….Should we all sing praises to God for the wctu….lol… or other radicals in their wake…
    Bamb….the bitch should have the ball peen hammer in one hand and a money sack in the other!
    Justice is delivered by the strong… Bye y’all

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  27. winston tyau says:

    Lady Justice is Blind in such a noble aspiration of having our objectiveness tethered to a noble and just cause as in what Abraham Lincoln would suggest in his Getty’s Berg address and the outcome without mind to kept the light of democracy to the world it will go out. Today, in the earlier 20 century our judicial system and the executive branch share a bias that is deter to our keeping the blindfold on Lady Justice. In other words the Justice system is flawed in thinking of ways to implement justice by fiat, arbitrary deciding against the wishes of the people and puffing up in pride to decide what legal bounds that they can forge for their own power and aggrandizement. If lady justice goes on with so called eyes, the US constitution will be in threads, and the our democracy will become fascist as it is becoming more and more. Wake up America, before it is too late.

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