Traditionally, the virtue of justice is depicted as a blindfolded woman holding equally balanced scales. Justice is meant to be blind; it does not make judgment based on prejudice. In Balma's interpretation, the scales become the main symbolism, with the images of male and female figures balanced perfectly upon them. The figures are not blind, but they see themselves as they are in their natural state, different and unique, but equal in respect to one another on a scale which is fixed. Behind them is the dark form of a stylized eagle, wings outstretched in an upward lift. The shape of this mythical bird was inspired by the "Thunderbird" of Native American folklore. Native people believed the eagle to be the mediator between heaven and earth, as it was able to soar effortlessly. It was considered the essence of spiritual enlightenment, of principles to be upheld. This representation of the eagle was adopted by early American colonists and became the symbol of our country. The entire piece is framed by a circle, a symbol of perfection.
On Oct. 20, 1994, an open house was held to celebrate the completion of the Frescoes of St. Thomas. Seven community members were invited to comment about what each panel meant to him or her, personally.
The Hon. Rosalie Wahl, retired Minnesota Supreme Court justice, spoke on the "Justice" panel:
"Through the days and years, as our eyes are lifted to this fresco of Justice - to the outstretched wings and balanced scales - may we remember those principles to be upheld. May we remember that every person - poor or rich, black or red or brown or white, male or female - has the right to equal justice under the law. May we work together to make justice a reality in our common life."