One of the key principles of the rule of law is the independence of the judiciary. This idea is usually presented in an abstract and normative way, while its meaning remains highly debatable. Leaving aside formal and legal assumptions, this article focuses on a detailed examination of a specific court – the Polish Constitutional Tribunal (CT) – an institution commonly perceived as one that has recently lost its “independence” in favour of subordination to political power. In order to show that this process is deeply complex and far from being common-sense, we replace the category of “(in)dependence” with the more appropriate notions of relative autonomy and heteronomy. Therefore, the object of a detailed analysis is the biographical trajectories of all CT judges elected between its establishment in 1985 and 2019. Applying geometric analysis to prosopographical data (a collective biography of judges), allows us to demonstrate the multidimensionality and dynamics of the autonomy (or heteronomy) of a key judicial institution and reveal hidden power relations (legal, political, religious, etc.) that go beyond the common-sense “politicization of law”.