Almost by definition, issues that split the Supreme Court can be argued either way. But these lawyers felt so strongly about these arguable principles that they sacrificed paying work and instead went to work without charge for people they loathed – just to turn their principles into law. Doesn’t this tell us something about the strength and content of their principles? And isn’t it fair for Liz Cheney to ask whether the rest of the country shares those principles?

I haven’t had much to say about this, because it seems like a tempest in a teapot. But imagine that John Ashcroft had stocked the Civil Rights Division with appointees who had done extensive pro bono work for white supremacists. Would people’s positions be the same?