The decision was a manifestation of one of Roberts’ core interests, tied to Fifth Amendment protection against government takings “without just compensation,” dating all the way back to his years in the Ronald Reagan administration and then in private practice representing business interests.
Wednesday’s decision also offered a significant manifestation of the new 6-3 conservative-liberal ideologically split court. In his opinion for the majority, Roberts eschewed the caveats and narrow approach he has brought to other areas of the law — notably social policy dilemmas — to achieve cross-ideological consensus.
But the 2005 appointee of Republican President George W. Bush is still fundamentally conservative. And he has consistently sided with business over unions and with property owners over government regulators.