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How does a judge’s identity affect perceptions of their ability to preside fairly? We theorize that identity categories operate as ideological cues and that the public views judges perceived as ideologically proximate to be fairer, more impartial, and more inspiring of trust in courts broadly. Using a conjoint survey experiment with a diverse national sample, we find support for this theory and show that race, gender, and especially sexuality are used as ideological cues. The effect of identities is conditioned by respondent partisanship. Democratic respondents trust judges with marginalized identities more than judges with dominant identities. Republicans are relatively indifferent to judges’ race or gender but are significantly less trusting of gay judges. We also uncover limited effects when judges preside over a case in which their identity is salient. These results suggest that the public does not seek descriptive representation as such but uses identity categories to achieve ideological congruence.