These are some of his thoughts during the Reagan era:
Roberts, working as an assistant to Attorney General William French Smith in 1982, co-wrote a memo to the attorney general advocating codifying the department's conservative policies, saying decisions not to seek busing or hiring quotas, "could be instantly reversed when a new administration took office."
"In certain areas _ busing and quotas, for example _ it makes eminent sense to pursue legislation to guarantee that our policies cannot be easily undone," said Roberts in a March 15, 1982 memo he co-wrote with fellow special assistant Carolyn Kuhl.
Roberts, who faces Senate confirmation hearings starting next week, also seemed to express some displeasure with the federal judiciary in that memo.
"Conservative distaste for the growing influence of courts in society suggests the development of alternatives to litigation which are less dependent on the fiat of unelected jurists," he and Kuhl said in their joint memo.
They noted that Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger and the American Bar Association were calling for exploration of arbitration, and some Christian fundamentalist groups had formed negotiation programs.
"Exploring some of these areas would be fully consistent with a desire to abate the influence of the courts and also to ease the burden on them," they wrote.
We are getting to know our John, better and better, even though slowly.