What is the name of the judge in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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The judge at Tom Robinson's trial is named is John Taylor.

Judge Taylor presides over the trial of Tom Robinson.  He is well-respected, but has a very unusual technique.  He likes to pretend he is asleep.

Judge Taylor was on the bench, looking like a sleepy old shark, his pilot fish writing rapidly below in front of him. Judge Taylor looked like most judges I had ever seen: amiable, white-haired, slightly ruddy-faced, he was a man who ran his court with an alarming informality … (Ch. 16)

It is clear that Judge Taylor is actually much more alert than he seems to be.  He may chew on a cigar and put his feet on his desk, but he doesn’t actually fall asleep because he knows everything that happens in his courtroom. 

Judge Taylor is also not a racist.  He chose Atticus to defend Tom Robinson because he knew that unlike many Maycomb citizens he would actually try to win the case.  Judge Taylor goes out of his way to make sure that Robinson gets a fair trial.

“…Did it ever strike you that Judge Taylor naming Atticus to defend that boy was no accident? That Judge Taylor might have had his reasons for naming him?” (Ch. 22)

Judge Taylor is well aware of the fact that the trial is important.  A black man is accused of raping a white woman, but he is generally well-respected while her family is not. Judge Taylor probably knows as well as Atticus that a fair trial is difficult to get in Maycomb, but he does his best to make it one.

Judge Taylor is one of the most well-respected and honorable men in Maycomb.  Clearly Atticus respects him greatly. Like Atticus, Taylor does his best to make justice color-blind.  In doing so, he opposes many of the deeply-held beliefs of most of the citizens of Maycomb.

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