Well, we're screwed.
John Roberts practiced as a corporate lawyer and is a member of the Federalist Society.
That means trouble.
The Federalist Society guys are, by and large, radical in their activism of getting judges to impose the 18th century view of politics on the 21st century.
When they talk about strictly following the Constitution, that's what they mean: follow what the wealthy white men of the late 1700s thought about politics and justice and equality, not what people in 2005 believe.
And that is a radical change. Which is not at all a good thing for the United States.
For a long time, the Supreme Court was the bulwark of the reactionary forces, striking down attempts by Congress (elected by the people) to make life better with laws like a minimum wage and mandatory overtime after 40 hours a week.
Things could go that way again with the replacement of a moderate conservative like Sandra Day O'Connor who voted to uphold precedent in a bunch of big cases with an ideological conservative like John Roberts who will likely join the far right firebrands.
It's entirely appropriate for Democrats to veto a nomination based on ideology. Judges are rulers, and anyone who is 'very' conservative is by definition outside of the mainstream. That's reason enough to veto an appointment.
Stand strong Senate Dems! John Roberts might be intelligent and polite, but we deserve a mainstream Justice to replace a moderate conservative like O'Connor.