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Opening Arguments

Who holds the tighter leash

After Chief Justice John Roberts said, in his speech at the IU school of law, that it's harder for the Supreme Court to reach consensus than it is for Congress, where compromise comes with the job. "In effect," the columnist noted, Roberts implied that "on some decisions a justice is conservative or liberal, and there isn't a lot of middle ground." Then he hunted up the dean of the law school, Gary Roberts, to ask him what makes people liberal or conservative:

Conservatives tend to believe people will behave badly if strict rules aren't in place and applied, Roberts opined, while liberals are more likely to see people as fundamentally good and willing to do the right thing if given enough leash.

Really? Liberals are the ones who want to leave people alone to do the right thing? It's conservatives who pump up the nanny state? In truth, both liberals and conservatives have liked government rules and regulations, just used for different things. If you want to talk about leaving people alone, whether they are fundamentally good or likely to behave badly, talk to a libertarian.