Multiple studies have documented racial, gender, political ideology, or ethnical biases in comparative judicial systems. Supplementing this literature, we investigate whether judges rule cases differently when one of the litigants is a politician. We suggest a theory of power collusion, according to which judges might use rulings to buy cooperation or threaten members of the other branches of government. We test this theory using a sample of small claims cases in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, where no collusion should exist. The results show a negative bias of 3.7 percentage points against litigant politicians, indicating that judges punish, rather than favor, politicians in court. This punishment in low-salience cases serves as a warning sign for politicians not to cross the judiciary when exercising checks and balances, suggesting yet another barrier to judicial independence in development settings.