“What is unconsciously motivated is not for that reason inaccessible, secret, arbitrary, with us being little balls tossed about by dark forces below that are not us and alien to us. Nor, in law, is the power of a judge, who is one of us and like us, therefore a blind impact from the unknown. We blend into the semiconscious, the subconscious, and the unconscious.
“The whole person acts and speaks. In talk and action and in writing one obtains evidence of what one thinks, oneself, as a whole, evidence that one then interprets, and not against some independently accessible conscious intent but as one would interpret any authentically meant writing. Words and means of expression come to mind. Then one sees them.
“So with the legal decision maker. She decides, or concludes she has decided. There is a motion of her mind. What does she decide? Happily she must justify her decision. She writes and looks, and the whole may surprise the part and summon her in a different direction. When she publishes, she reads what she writes in company. Where is her power, the power she has in and of herself as a judge? Her power beyond the case is in her text. And if there is an appeal in the case, to judge the judge’s text, her power even over the case itself is limited, to the degree she has genuinely sought what she truly thinks–which seeking is itself a limit on her power as she comes to the decision that is reviewed.”
Joseph Vining, From Newton’s Sleep IV.21, pp. 188-89.