God gave grace to Moses to lead the people of Israel in the wilderness. How? By giving Israel a process of choosing judges who would help him bear the problems and the burdens of the people. It was too much for one person to do and maintain the system of law God wanted the people to follow.
Moses gave the directive, “Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.” (Deuteronomy 1: 13) The people answered, “What you propose to do is good.” (v. 14) So, Moses appointed “the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men…to have authority over the people—as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials.” (v. 15)
The main instruction to these judges? “Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God.” (v. 17)
Look at the process they followed. Our system of representation in the United States is supposed to work like this. Representatives are chosen or elected locally. The minute they are elected they are accountable to and appointed by Moses. They are not accountable to the people who elected them. If something becomes too difficult for them, (would cause them to show partiality or favoritism) they are to recuse themselves and let Moses adjudicate it.
They are not to judge a situation by deciding who elicits their sympathy. They are not to judge a situation by the resources held by the different parties or by which tribe they belong to, or whether they belong to any tribe. Every decision rests upon the law not their own personal preference or the mandates of the tribe.
Once they assume the position of the judge, the character and the temperament that got them elected by those who knew them, can only be maintained if they are not partial to those who elected them. In my lifetime, we have reversed that process.
Now, it seems, we elect people to ‘bring things back to the district’ or to show partiality to their constituents. This is not grace; this is graft.
We have forgotten that once a person is elected they represent the law (the Constitution) for all the people not just their constituents. That’s why the law is meant to be written so it is the same everywhere, with everyone, regardless of the individual circumstance. Anything less is a form of discrimination regulating favor to one party over another. “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.” (Romans 12: 17) And just as the Scripture teaches us not to return evil for evil, we don’t correct past discrimination by coming up with present and future ways of discriminating.
God says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12: 21) What is good? Being impartial and remaining a judge when we are tempted to become an advocate or a lawmaker.
Hearing this admonition, I believe Neil Gorsuch should become the next justice of our Supreme Court. Knowing this admonition, I believe we should pray more often for our appointed representatives, including the judges that they might follow the law and maintain their integrity and their impartiality.