Jonathan Chait wonders what poll respondants who describe themselves as "liberal" can mean by saying that Bush's Supreme Court picks are "too liberal." I can think of two reasons a liberal might think that.
One: A self-identified liberal might equate judicial liberalism with "judicial activism," and understand that term the way Cass Sunstein, Jeff Rosen and others have worked to tendentiously redefine it: to mean striking down laws and/or precedents (including when the Constitution requires doing just that). This is, of course, an example of one of liberals' many attempts to claim the mantle of "real conservative." (This phenomenom pops up a lot in fiscal policy debates. Just this week, Shawn Macomber noted Mark Warner casting his tax-hiking self as "the true definition of a conservative.")