It is just to have the principle of equality above that of liberty because without the principle of equality, people could likely use their liberties to an extent that it invades on the rights of others. If equality was not first, then who is to say to whom liberty is bestowed? Under that circumstance, not everyone would be guaranteed the same liberties.
I believe it is just to place the principle of equality above the principle of liberty. I believe it is just because people often confuse their right to liberty with others rights to equality. Greed skews what is right and makes people feel they are losing liberty when they really are not.
If you try to place equality above liberty you will end up with neither. If you place liberty above equality will get a higher degree of both. The only true equality is before the law, And in personal actions free from coercion. The latter can only be executed via liberty.
Equality without liberty is nothing, because it just means we would all be equally oppressed. Many people disagree over what the point of life is, happiness, knowledge, or making a difference are some of the points debated. However without the freedom to pursue these things, life had no point. Also with liberty some level if equality is inevitable as people would all have equal rights and freedoms,
It is not just to place the principle of equality above the principle of liberty. This is because no one ever us truly equal with another person. We are all different and it can't be expected that we all have the same experiences, skills, and qualities. However, it is quite important that we all be free/liberated so that we can choose to live our lives and make our own decisions as we please.
You cannot have one without the other. You also cannot pursue one and not also pursue the other. They are both necessary for a fair and just society and both must be embraced. It may be a difficult road to navigate but the alternative, a life without liberty or equality, is not a life worth living.