Lady Justice and MLK
This month, we pause to celebrate the life, achievements, and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A champion of fairness and equality at a time when the country needed one, Dr. King tirelessly dedicated his life to the nonviolent pursuit of social and legal justice.
One of the greatest measures of any society is its legal system. An enlightened legal system pursues many of the same principles and is governed by the same values necessary for a rational, balanced society. Chief among these principles is a unifying pursuit of justice. And in the absence of equality and fairness, there can be no justice, legally or societally.
Our system of justice is represented by the Roman goddess, Justina. In most instances, Justina (or Lady Justice) is portrayed with a set of scales in her left hand, with which she weighs truth and fairness. In her right hand, she wields a double-edged sword, symbolizing reason and justice that may be meted out for – or against – any party.
Justina is often, and perhaps most importantly, blindfolded. This represents the objective administration of justice, absent of any favor or fear. All persons, regardless of identity, economic status, or social position are to be equal under the law.
Without Dr. King, Justina’s scale is askew, her sword is selectively sharp, her blindfold sheer. So, this Monday, we hope you take some time to appreciate Dr. King and the struggle for civil rights … truly a hero for anyone dedicated to the pursuit of equality, fairness, and justice.