DeSantis' New Pitch: Think of the Supreme Court

Governor suggests he could put in place a long-lasting conservative majority of 7-2
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2023 12:20 PM CDT
DeSantis' Election Pitch: a 7-2 Supreme Court
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks during a fundraising picnic for US Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, Saturday, May 13, 2023, in Sioux Center, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Ron DeSantis is expected to launch his 2024 campaign for president this week, notes CNN, and the Florida governor is floating a new selling point: the possibility of a 7-2 conservative majority on the Supreme Court that would last for a long time. DeSantis made the case Monday in an address to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando, reports the New York Times. He suggested a president who serves the next two terms might replace Clarence Thomas, 74, and Samuel Alito, 73, and maybe even Sonia Sotomayor, 68, and Chief Justice John Roberts, 68, per Politico. If so, that would not only maintain the current 6-3 conservative majority but expand it.

By this logic, DeSantis would have the advantage over Donald Trump, who could serve only another four years in office. “You would have a 7-2 conservative majority on the Supreme Court that would last a quarter-century,” DeSantis said. “So this is big stuff, very important that that gets done right.” Meanwhile:

  • Telltale shift: The Hill noticed that DeSantis has removed "FL" from his Twitter handle, a reference to his home state, presumably to give himself a more national reach for the campaign launch.
  • Growing pack: GOP Sen. Tim Scott already joined the Republican race this week, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is reportedly reconsidering a run himself, and others including Mike Pence and Chris Christie are possibilities. The Wall Street Journal sees it as a sign that challengers see Trump as beatable and DeSantis as vulnerable. The story notes, however, that Trump seems happy with a larger field.
  • Some advice: At the Daily Beast, conservative Matt Lewis assesses the state of the 2024 race and suggests that DeSantis give up now. Lewis sees two scenarios at this point: "1) Either Trump is inevitable, in which case this is all a moot point, or 2) DeSantis may have already blown his narrow chance of ousting Trump as the GOP nominee, in which case DeSantis would probably be better off not running."
(The nation is about to meet Florida first lady Casey DeSantis.)

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