In black gown and bow tie – my father would have said don’t trust that guy.

Seattle’s ‘so-called judge’, James Robart, rules that the State of Washington is the poorer for President Trump’s executive order on immigration.

He grants a temporary restraining order, to be applied nationwide against the international travel restrictions contained in the Federal directive.

Restraint following restriction = freedom of movement, at least for the time being.

Walking down the street, you wouldn’t look at him twice. Having lived well, yet surely without extravagance, Judge Robart is certainly in the pink; perhaps a little portly (close cropped beards can hide a multitude of chins), and beneath the judicial gown, you bet the style of his civilian clothes dates from the 1970s – formative years when he first practised law.

But personal animus hardly comes into it. For no one to be above the law, not even the President of the United States, its guardian must step out of his personal particulars, shedding them like skin (until such time as he steps backs in), entering a frame of reference which has more to do with the 1770s than the Seventies of his early career.

(All the years – and none.)

As he requires this of himself, Judge Robart asks as much of the two young lawyers appearing before him. When he questions them – in detail, cappuccino kid, counsel for Washington State, loses some of his preppy-ness. In white blouse, black suit and not a hint of make-up, the Federal government’s advocate came ready to trans to the impersonal version of herself.

But some of her answers fall flat; just mentioning national security is not enough to make the grade.

What’s revered here is leaping logic: no missing steps in this life of the mind; only logic that climbs upwards and takes us there, too – as long as we are straight and true.

Meanwhile on the ground floor the court marshal stands idly by. Today’s ordinary Joe sports a goatee as well as his badge. Note that he is all but excluded from the legal abstractions (but no less concrete) which he is there to serve.