John T. Raulston, the judge in the Scopes trial, was "a popular local attorney of no special competence." Although his rulings more often favored the prosecution and his deference to Bryan was especially obvious, Raulston was credited with "acting according to his lights as well as his prejudices." The attention that came with the Scopes trial pleased Raulston, and he seemed to have a near obsession with having his picture taken.
Raulston was a deeply religious man. During the trial he quoted scripture. It was also his practice to open proceedings with a prayer whenever a clergyman was present.