Liberal justices have been willing to uphold virtually any use of race by the government--including quotas in higher education, set-asides for government contracts, and raced-based assignments of students to public schools--so long as the government claims benign motives. The conservatives, by contrast, argue that the government must treat people as individuals, not as members of a racial caste.
Other examples could be raised. The conservatives, for example, have been more sympathetic to free exercise of religion claims than the liberals, and more inclined to forbid government regulation of "hate speech."
The point should be clear. There are many ideological differences between the conservative and liberal justices on the Supreme Court. But a consistent, stronger liberal devotion to supporting individual rights and civil liberties against assertions
of government power isn't one of them.
02 July 2008
A good perspective on the heels of the Heller decision: