The personal views of judges has to affect the angle they view an issue. It at least affects their starting positions on issues. But do judges decide issues based on ideology or their view of the law? In other words, is the issue of liberal/conservative judge appointees overblown by Congress? Greer would have been considered a conservative, evangelical Christian prior to the Schiavo case. His decision was clearly based more on his interpretation of laws than his personal ideology. The Supreme Court's decision on medical marijuana was another surprising twist. The USSC ruled 6-3 that federal drug laws superceded state drug laws, effectively banning medical marijuana. The dissenters? Thomas, Rehnquist, and O'Connor. Not exactly the three you would have expected to support marijuana use. Their dissent, especially Thomas's, was based on their idea that the power of the federal government should be limited. I especially liked Thomas's dissent: Who is appointed as a federal judge, especially one on the USSC, is an important issue for Congress to consider, but, barring a history of allowing personal ideology to affect judicial decisions, I think the personal ideology of a judge is blown up a little bigger than life in the interests of fighting the Republican/Democrat war that Congress has seemed to be so engrossed in over the last decade.