Ron DeSantis boasts about ‘quarter century’ of 7-2 conservative Supreme Court majority if he wins in 2024

The prospective Republican presidential candidate says ‘It is possible that in those eight years, we have the opportunity to fortify justices’

Eric Garcia
Tuesday 23 May 2023 18:59 BST
Hamburger Mary's suing Florida Gov. DeSantis

Florida Gov Ron DeSantis has predicted that if he were to win the presidency, conservatives could have a 7-2 majority on the Supreme Court for 25 years.

The governor and prospective candidate for the Republican nomination for president made the remarks while speaking at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Orlando.

Mr DeSantis is widely expected to announce his candidacy for president sometime this week. Polling shows he still trails former president Donald Trump but he has the most support of any of the other candidates besides the former president.

The two-term governor said that given some of the justices’ ages, the next president would have the opportunity to nominate two of the most senior conservative justices, The Guardian reported.

“I think if you look over the next two presidential terms, there is a good chance that you could be called upon to seek replacements for Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito and the issue with that is, you can’t really do better than those two,” he said.

In addition, he alluded to the opportunity to replace Justice Sonia Sotomayor, 68, and even Justice Elena Kagan, 63, both of whom former president Barack Obama nominated.

“It is possible that in those eight years, we have the opportunity to fortify justices,” he said. “Alito and Thomas, as well as actually make improvements with those others, and if you were able to do that, you would have a 7-2 conservative majority on the supreme court that would last a quarter-century.”

Conservatives secured a majority on the Supreme Court during Mr Trump’s presidency. After then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Mr Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Mr Trump nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Democrats blocked the nomination, which led to Senate Republicans getting rid of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. Mr Trump later nominated Justice Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Anthony Kennedy. After the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Senate confirmed Mr Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett, giving conservatives a 6-3 majority.

The rightward shift facilitated the court’s overturning of Roe v Wade last year in the Dobbs v Jackson decision, a decision which Mr Alito authored.

Mr DeSantis also crticised Chief Justice John Roberts, whom George W Bush nominated but who has sided with liberals on multiple decisions, as insufficiently conservative.

“If you replace a Clarence Thomas with somebody like a Roberts or somebody like that,” he said. “Then you’re gonna actually see the court move to the left, and you can’t do that.”

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