Jeff Toobin has written a useful profile of Chief Justice John Roberts for The New Yorker. Entitled "No More Mr. Nice Guy", Toobin's essay makes the case that Roberts' personal charm obscured a doctrinaire ideological conservatism that places him to the right of Justice Antonin Scalia on some issues. Although Roberts eschews Scalia's sweeping constitutional pronouncements, his nominally more restrained approach inevitably leads to the same rigid conclusions.
Roberts' notion of judicial restraint means that in practice he will always let the powerful have their way. This may be a fine thing if you're a wealthy white man (like Roberts), but to use the word that suddenly horrifies conservatives, Roberts displays no empathy for anyone who isn't a member in good standing of the existing power structure. They are incomprehensible to him.
His jurisprudence as Chief Justice, Roberts said, would be characterized by “modesty and humility.” After four years on the Court, however, Roberts’s record is not that of a humble moderate but, rather, that of a doctrinaire conservative. 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.