Judges come daily to the bench with the same baggage or maybe the same idiosyncratic lenses as the rest of us.
William James elegantly referred to it as being under “the total push and presence of the cosmos.” But even better was Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo’s wondrous phraseology in “The Nature of the Judicial Process:” “There is in each of us a stream of tendency, whether you choose to call it philosophy or not, which gives us coherence and direction to thought and action. Justices cannot escape the current any more than other mortals… . In this mental background every problem finds its setting. We may try to see things as objectively as we please. None the less, we can never see them with any eyes except our own.” A judge may be down on religion or guilt ridden in favor of the underclass, or may unalterably believe that God, if there is a God, and government should only help those who help themselves. A judge may see legislative fiat as buffoonery and presidents as political whores who will do anything for a victory.
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