Roberts and Alito v. Scalia and Thomas.

I recently heard presidential candidate John McCain say that if elected he would appoint judges like John Roberts and Sam Alito. This seems a little strange, because most conservatives say they favor justices like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

My question is simply this: is there a difference between ultraconservatives like Scalia and Thomas, arguably the most conservative on the U.S. Supreme Court, and more recent appointees Roberts and Alito? What is their individual political philosophies? And do they indeed differ in any way?

BTW, when I took a community college political science course some years back, the members of the Supreme Court were put on a graph (this was before Roberts and Alito). Scalia was the most conservative, Thomas was just a little bit less conservative than him, next. And Rehnquist was the least conservative, of the most conservative three at least (btw, according to my teacher at least, Sandra Day O’Connor was dead center on the court). I guess I am looking for a “graph” like this again.

BTW, I did indeed look at the Wikipedia articles on Roberts and Alito. And they were absolutely no help to my question.

Thank you in advance to all who reply :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

This might be helpful:

On a less fact-finding note, are you sure that McCain is talking about a difference in political ideology, rather than, say, mentioning Roberts and Alito as the most current examples?

For a VERY recent example of the difference between the Alioto/Roberts approach and the Scalia/Thomas approach, read the decision in Snyder v. Louisiana, decided 3/19/08.