In today's Washington Post, conservative judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III appeals for an ideological truce in appointments that just happens to coincide with the exact moment Democrats have retaken the nominating power:

So the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit is set for a takeover. Popular commentary has it that the court, on which I serve, is a fortress or bastion or citadel of conservatism. Discussion of coming changes suggests more the fruits of a successful military campaign than the result of an election giving our new president the right to nominate members to a judicial body.  ... With the new numbers in the Senate, the temptation is there to go for an ideological makeover. Yet the tempting course would prove a misguided one.

If you're wondering whether Wilkinson wrote a similar op-ed at the start of, or any time during, the Bush administration, the answer is no, he didn't.

Wilkinson also writes, "ideology should not be the foremost criterion for selecting a judge. Many people may not believe it, but judges are not politicians in robes." Tell that to the five justices who decided to be Republican precinct captains in 2000.

--Jonathan Chait