1. Answering questions is "particularly important," and "much more vital," for someone like Roberts, who has not "spent years forging a legacy on an appeals court, which can provide an excellent guide to [a nominee's] judicial philosophy," who has "served only two years on the bench," and as to whom there are not "many documents which would reveal [the nominee’s] thinking," and who is therefore "more of a tabula rasa than many other nominees in terms of . . . judicial philosophy."
2. At the same time, "there is a greater obligation to answer questions," "the obligation increases," and there is "more to answer for," for someone like Alito, who, unlike Roberts, has spent 15 years forging a legacy on an appeals court (which, you will recall, can provide an excellent guide to a nominee’s judicial philosophy), and who has a "written record on executive power; [a] written record on Congressional power; [a] his written record on the issue of personal autonomy and choice," and who "has spoken out - in a clear and direct way - on . . . particular issue[s]," and expressed views "strongly," and who is therefore not more of a tabula rasa than many other nominees in terms of judicial philosophy.
3. On the other hand, it was "less critical" for someone like Justice Ginsburg "to answer every question,” because she, unlike Roberts (but like Alito), had spent "13 years on the appeals court and had written 305 opinions," and thereby had a "long record" of spending years forging a legacy on an appeals court (an excellent guide, of course, to a nominee’s judicial philosophy), had "penned" many "substantive" writings, and thus had an extensive written record, had spoken out in a clear and direct way on issues, had expressed views strongly, and therefore was not more of a tabula rasa than many other nominees in terms of judicial philosophy.
Or, to put it differently: Roberts and Alito are Republican nominees, Ginsburg was a Democrat, and the rest is window dressing.