There is no dispute that the court has a four-member liberal wing and a four-member conservative wing, with Justice Anthony Kennedy somewhere in the middle.
But not every liberal is liberal in the same measure….
What’s liberal and what’s conservative? Our conclusions are drawn from the Supreme Court Database, which codes decisions as liberal or conservative. Examples of liberal decisions are ones favoring criminal defendants, unions, people claiming discrimination or violations of their civil rights. Decisions striking down economic regulations and favoring prosecutors, employers and the government are said to be conservative.
via A More Nuanced Breakdown of the Supreme Court – NYTimes.com.