Aside from a few high-profile issues, most Supreme Court decisions are read into the casebooks without public notice. We've gone almost four full years since Bush restaffed the court with Alito and Roberts, yet there has been little examination of their impact on jurisprudence.
That's changing. As the fight over Obama's first appointment picks up and attention turns to the future of the Court, we can expect examination of the Court's present. Jeff Toobin gets the ball rolling, noting that its Chief Justice is a wingnut:
The kind of humility that Roberts favors reflects a view that the Court should almost always defer to the existing power relationships in society. In every major case since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff. Even more than Scalia, who has embodied judicial conservatism during a generation of service on the Supreme Court, Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the contemporary Republican Party.
The article is a great foundation for understanding the stakes with this nomination.