Ron DeSantis promises new Supreme Court won’t side so often with Democrats
Ron DeSantis speaks at Federalist Society conference in Orlando.

DeSantis at Federalist
Florida's new governor slammed the high court for redistricting rulings.

Gov. Ron DeSantis told legal conservatives Friday that the Florida Supreme Court too often favors Democrats in rulings, such as in redistricting cases. But he promised that will now change.

Speaking at the annual convention for the Federalist Society, held this year at the Convention Center at Yacht & Beach Club in Lake Buena Vista, the Republican slammed Florida’s high court as an activist one.

“You have a court that’s constantly gone beyond the bounds of what is judicial into the realm of what is really legislative,” he said, in comments first reported by Florida Trend’s Jason Garcia.

“By the way— is this just a big coincidence?” he said. “Anything that had a political color to it just always happened to be decided in the way of the Democratic Party.”

He specifically cited redistricting as a concern.

The state Supreme Court in 2015 rejected a congressional map drawn by the Florida Legislature in favor of one drawn by the League of Women Voters and other groups.

Of course, under that map, Florida voters in November still elected a majority Republican U.S. House delegation.

There’s now a 14-13 split, elected the same cycle voters elected a Republican governor and U.S. senator by less than a 0.5-percent margins.

But those at the event celebrated a dramatic shift in the court following DeSantis’ election. The new governor in his first few weeks on the job had the chance to appoint three justices to replace jurists retiring because of age.

Legal experts now consider the court a 6-1 conservative body after years of being regarded as a split or liberal make-up.

DeSantis earned a standing ovation mentioning his judicial appointments.

The governor also expressed a desire to see constitutional amendments placed during special elections after watching voters approve nearly everything at the bottom on ballot in November.

And speakers at the Federalist Society events suggested conservative in leadership in Tallahassee would also translate to election supervision more favorable to conservatives.

“We need to start putting people in these [election supervisor] positions who have experience and credentials,” said Chris Sautter during a panel at the event. “Florida needs more unified rules and structures.”

Kendall Coffey, another speaker, said a conservative justice department will allow efforts to stop voter fraud to move forward as well.

“Election crimes tarnish the sanctity of democracy,” he said. “The DOJ wants to do more and should do more. No level of fraud is acceptable.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Edward

    February 2, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    These wingnuts act like they haven’t had total control over the government of Florida for the past twenty years. If there is something they think needs to be fix, then why on Earth haven’t they fixed it over the generation where they could have executed many changes by fiat? They are either showing their own ignorance or more likely, what suckers they consider the citizens of Florida.

    • Donna Letourneau

      February 3, 2019 at 10:18 am

      Agree 100%. Its BS. Fear politics is the RepukiCANTS way.

    • Roger S.

      February 3, 2019 at 10:24 pm

      Hello Edward:

      Wing-nuts? So Edward, would that imply that you are affiliated with the Screw-jobs?

      One good turn doesn’t lock down a bolt! Just leaves it loose. With the evolving Socialist/Communist left hand screw-Jobs, freezing a potentially devastating radical assembly sounds like a really good plan to me! Halting your nation killing goals are job one! And I wonder just how many of our lack-luster RINO’s are in reality “Screw-Job Moles”?
      In my America, the ends do not justify the means…

      Roger S. Veteran, Vietnam Communist Campaign. Disabled.

      • Michael

        February 4, 2019 at 4:08 pm


        Stay on point and realize that the pendulum swinging hard right does you no favors either because then you are defending fascist’s. Your service in Vietnam against communist oppression is commendable. But if you support a stance that aligns with fascism then what did you really do? Sounds like you want to use a king cobra to kill the mice in the attic not realizing that the cobra will present clear and present danger to yourself worse than the original problem. Unless of course your views align with that party to begin with, and as such, you agree with that stratagem.

        Despite DeSantis and others talking in other settings about how the new justices should follow laws and not agendas, they seem more interested in political party affiliation when he makes speeches like this one.

        In the end, you do not live in a vacuum. The state of Florida deserves to be represented by someone who fights for all constituents and not just strong armed into one party gaining advantage over the other. You seemed more upset by Edward’s comment than focusing on the truth of one party holding the reins of this State for so long and yet they use a rallying cry as if it were not true. As if by electing more of them it will be better, all the while they are just consolidating power, and wiping out all semblance of separation of powers, and in the end specifically going against what you seem so proud to have fought for.

  • Sue

    February 3, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    While they still win now with the fair election map the FLSC imposed on them, their concern is that very soon they won’t. Additionally, they’ve already placed their Republican plants in the SOE spots in Palm Beach and Broward, two of the 3 Democratic counties in the state. Even with this map, expect massive 2020 election fraud and tampering from Republicans for 2020. We need to organize now.

Comments are closed.


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