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One of the most recognized legal symbols is that of Justice. Justice is most commonly portrayed in the US as a blindfolded woman carrying a sword and a set of scales. She symbolizes the fair and equal administration of the law, without corruption, greed, prejudice, or favor.
The idea of a woman portraying Justice dates back to the ancient Greek and Roman images of Themis and Justicia. Themis, the Greek goddess of justice and law, was known for her clear-sightedness. In Roman mythology, Justicia (Justice) was one of the four Virtues. The others were Prudence, Fortitude, and Temperance.
Justice can be seen in three places on the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.
1. The Contemplation of Justice statue (a seated female figure in a shawl) studies the smaller statue of Justice. This Justice is blindfolded and cradles a set of scales in her arms. This marble statue of Justice is about 4.5 feet high. (Picture 1, above)
2. At the base of the lampposts is a bas-relief of Justice. This Justice is also blindfolded and holds scales in her left hand and a sword in her right. (Picture 2, above)
3. Justice appears without a blindfold on the west wall in the Courtroom. This Justice is based on the story of the battle between Good Versus Evil. Her eyes are fixed on Evil to her right, and she is ready to protect the forces of Good with her sword.
To learn more, check out Figures of Justice (PDF, 457k) from the US Supreme Court.