[He] “is not an ideological person at all…. In the eight years since he left the solicitor general’s office, I don’t think Roberts has filed a single amicus brief for a conservative ideological organization. And I will guarantee that given his prominence, he’s being asked all the time to do so. He just hasn’t played at all in that game.” ~Richard Lazarus, Director of Supreme Court Institute at Georgetown University Law Center

This is reassuring in one sense, in that real conservatives ought to have nothing to do with any ideology, but I am doubtful that Mr. Lazarus was imagining clear distinctions between a seriously principled conservative philosophical persuasion drawn from the best of the inheritance of Western wisdom and shallow, reductionist ideology. This might suggest that Judge Roberts is not especially committed to advancing any particular causes, which will both please and annoy conservatives. This is the double-edged sword of judicial restraint in an age of usurpation: the unwillingness of the contemporary, “restrained” strict constructionist to ignore unconstitutional precedents and return ad fontes or, rather, ad fontum, the Constitution.

What this quote from 2001, before Judge Roberts’ confirmation to the appellate court in 2003, should also tell us is that all of the sound and fury from the left is simply SOP for their activists, as there is no track record of Judge Roberts being an activist for conservative causes before the Court. Leftist activists would have made these same noises no matter the nominee, as should be obvious. This lack of activism is reassuring in a second way for traditional conservatives, as it suggests that Judge Roberts does not have the immature and unbalanced temperament of an activist, possessing instead perhaps a more sober and intelligent view of things. However, for “conservative” activists Judge Roberts lack of enthusiasm for “ideology” may make him a much more disappointing pick for those interested in rolling back the errors of the Court.