The Supreme Court -- Glossary

conservative (judicial)
A judicial philosophy generally associated with the concept that federal courts should exercise judicial restraint. Sometimes it also includes the idea that the text of the Constitution should be interpreted strictly and understood with limited regard for how courts have interpreted it over the years.

conservative (political)
A fluid term that refers to many different and even conflicting political philosophies. It has been applied to civil libertarians (those who believe in minimal government interference in the lives of individuals) as well as to those who believe government should aggressively enforce certain moral standards among its citizens. It has been applied to those who believe in a "laissez faire" approach toward business as well as those who believe that government should actively advance the interests of the business community.

conservative (social)
Generally, the philosophy that society should enforce a broad set of moral and cultural norms and reject anyone who deviates from those standards.