An NYT op-ed by Paul Gewirtz and Chad Golder includes some data on the likelihood of Supreme Court judges to overturn congressional laws:
Thomas 65.63 %
Kennedy 64.06 %
Scalia 56.25 %
Rehnquist 46.88 %
O’Connor 46.77 %
Souter 42.19 %
Stevens 39.34 %
Ginsburg 39.06 %
Breyer 28.13 %
It is notable that all the "judicial activists" come out on the bottom while all the conservatives come out on top. So much for the advocates of judicial restraint.
It may be objected that the data set is incomplete: perhaps judicial conservatives are less likely to invalidate state laws. This may be true, but it does not invalidate the point. As Henry Farrell writes,
...the conservative expressed preference for state law over federal law is hardly unrelated to the fact that (a) the state laws at issue are frequently substantively closer to conservative preferences than are federal laws, and (b) that a strong emphasis on states’ rights makes various forms of economic and political regulation much less feasible in an interconnected economy of 50 states. So too for liberals of course, but the point is that humility in the face of democratic legislatures isn’t the driving force here – it’s calculations about substantive outcomes.
One way or another, deference to legislatures has little to do with outcomes of rulings by conservative judges.
See also: A ritual stupidity.