‘Conservatism’ in the U.S.

Reflecting on a New Yorker article on Leonard Leo, Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society in the U.S., following the recent confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Leo is the man behind Trump’s (in)famous list of candidates advertised during the last weeks of his campaign, while the Republican majority Senate was busy ignoring¬†the nomination of Merrick Garland’s. As the New Yorker article states: “Leonard Leo is now responsible for a third of the Supreme Court.” John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and now Neil Gorsuch.

You see the trend… Leo has successfully deployed three ‘conservative’ justices to the Supreme Court. Leo¬†is quoted asking, “What’s the best way to preserve the dignity and worth of the human person?”, and answering, “You assure all that freedom by establishing limitations on the power of the state.”

I want to ask Leo and all other conservatives who share his definition of “conservatism”, is freedom obtained by limiting the power of the state, only? What about the power of the church? Is freedom obtained by foregoing state-enforced laws and replacing them by church/society-enforced religious laws? Is that really freedom?