posted on July 26, 2005 9:04 AM
The characterizations we most commonly hear in contrasting liberal and conservative judges tend to use phrases such as “activism” vs. “restraint,” and approaching the Constitution as a “living document” vs. focusing on “original intent.”
However, I think asking a more fundamental question sheds light on why our society’s most vulnerable _ the poor and otherwise disenfranchised _ need conservative judges. We should be asking: “What is the purpose of the law?”
In this sense, I would contrast a conservative-vs.-liberal approach as the former viewing the core purpose of the law as individual protection and the latter relating to law as a tool for social engineering.