reports that at least two dozen federal judges appointed by President Bush since 2001 made political contributions to key Republicans or to the president himself while under consideration for their judgeships, government records show. A four month study by the Center for Investigative Reporting finds that 6 appellate court judges and 18 district court judges contributed a total of $44,000 to pols who were influential in their appointments.

The entire report is very revealing:

CIR’s investigation analyzed the campaign contributions of 249 judges who were appointed by President Bush to U.S. District and Circuit courts around the country. While some judges did not give contributions at all in the years leading up to their appointments, others continued to make political donations while their nominations were pending in the Senate.

There are no laws forbidding such contributions. The official Code of Conduct for United States Judges does prohibit political contributions by sitting federal judges.? It does not address donations made by judicial candidates seeking appointment.? However, it can certainly appear unethical.