With the Death of Rehnquist and this morning's announcement of Roberts for Chief Justice, the Supreme Court will now become a battle ground with heavy change in the balance. It is going to get ugly and get ugly quick.
This was a wise political move for Bush, and reduces the number of battles he has to fight. I don't know if it was a good move for the SCOTUS or not. The role of Chief is not one to directly influence case law, in that respect the Chief has no more power than the other 8 justices. Who gets that position is not that big of a deal. The battle starts again as to whom will replace O'Connor. The gloves will be coming off, and the knuckles are going to get bloody.