Torah Portion: Mishpatim
Do not pervert justice for your degraded countryman in his lawsuit (Shemos 23:5).
It is a negative commandment to tilt the law against one of the litigants when the judge knows that he is a wicked man, as it is written, Do not pervert justice for your degraded [evyon] countryman in his lawsuit (Shemos 23:5). The evyonmentioned in this verse [which usually means “a impoverished person”] means someone who is “impoverished of mitzvos.” Does it make any sense that just because someone has no money the judges would rule against him and take more money from him? Rather, the commandment is about a person who is impoverished of mitzvos — the judge should not say, “Since this man is a rasha(wicked), I will tilt the case against him.” Instead, he must judge truthfully, for it is the Holy One Who punishes the wicked and it is not the role of the judge.
The root of making all equal in justice is self-evident.
It applies in all places and at all times, to men who are fit to judge.