Gov. DeSantis downplays concerns over constitutional challenges to recent bills
Colin Hackley photo.

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Democrats have called several Republican-backed bills unconstitutional.

At the close of the Legislative Session, Gov. Ron DeSantis batted back concerns about possible lawsuits arising from some of the most contentious bills passed this year.

“There’s a cottage industry of lawsuits. That’s what happens when you do this,” DeSantis told reporters in the Capitol rotunda after the hankie dropped to signify the end of the 2021 Legislative Session.

No less than two days after DeSantis signed House Bill 1, a bill to create new penalties for protesters, civil rights lawyers filed a challenge arguing the law infringes on the “peaceful expression of speech.”

“The HB 1 lawsuit, I don’t think is viable. I think we’ll ultimately win that one,” DeSantis told reporters.

Democrats have called other Republican-backed bills unconstitutional, like an elections overhaul bill passed along party lines.

The Governor said Friday he will sign that bill.

“I think the election stuff we’ve done, understanding that of course there’s always going to be challenges, but I think they were really attentive to some of the pitfalls, and I think that’ll pass muster as well,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis said he expects a challenge to a bill passed this Session dealing with campaign finance (SB 1890) that puts a limit on contributions made to political committees sponsoring or opposing a constitutional amendment on a ballot.

“I think it strikes a good balance because you do have the ability to speak, but we also want it to be more of a grassroot thing,” DeSantis said.

But in response to a question from a reporter asking about the transgender athlete ban, DeSantis would not discuss the constitutionality of the ban.

But a similar law has played out in another state. A ban on transgender athletes passed by the Idaho Legislature is similar to the one Florida passed this Session. The ban in Idaho was blocked by a federal court. A lawsuit challenging the legality is underway.

Florida’s bill, provided DeSantis makes good on his promise to sign it, would block transgender girls and women from competing on girls’ and women’s sports teams. After the original bill stalled in the Senate, a somewhat watered down version passed when lawmakers added it as an amendment to an unrelate bill dealing with charter schools — a move that enraged critics.

Haley Brown

Haley Brown covers state government for FloridaPolitics.com. Previously, Haley covered the West Virginia Legislature and anchored weekend newscasts for WVVA in Bluefield, W.Va. Haley is a Florida native and a graduate of the University of Florida. You can reach her at [email protected]


14 comments

  • James R. Miles

    April 30, 2021 at 7:07 pm

    Since it is the taxpayers who will have to foot the bill for Republican mistakes, why should DeSatan worry? After all DeSatan is getting ready to run as Trump’s running mate in 2024 and hopefully both will go down in defeat just like 2020!!

    • Tom

      April 30, 2021 at 11:45 pm

      Your comments are despicable and shameful. Your name reference is ugly towards the Governor. The constitutional issues will be resolved if needed.

      • James R. Miles

        May 1, 2021 at 7:15 am

        Like you can predict what the Supreme Court will decide. DeSatan is another Republican racist bigot like Trump and if you don’t like my opinion that tough! The fascists haven’t taken away freedom of speech yet! But I am sure you and your ilk would if they could!

  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    May 1, 2021 at 7:46 am

    James R. Miles is just another frothing at the mouth hater. Get therapy before it’s too late!

    • James R. Miles

      May 1, 2021 at 2:19 pm

      Go froth yourself. You of all people show nothing but hate every time you write something on this site! Free speech still exists at least until you right-wing Nazi fascists get your way. You NEVER use facts about ANYTHING just your GOP trolling opinion. Shut the F up! I’ll say what I want until free speech is ended by you fascists! YOU are a mental midget!

      • zhombre

        May 2, 2021 at 8:45 am

        You call people Nazis, and they are the ones showing hate? You are a lefty nutcase and your posts are vile, irrational, scurrilous and filled with the hate you condemn in others.

        • James R. Miles

          May 2, 2021 at 9:23 am

          Go froth yourself you Nazi nut case!!

          • zhombre

            May 2, 2021 at 12:42 pm

            What a stupid man you are. Pathetic troll.

        • Robert R. Sands

          May 2, 2021 at 9:26 am

          Everybody has a right to their opinion and if you don’t like it, kindly move to Cuba and take Charlotte with you!!

          • zhombre

            May 2, 2021 at 12:45 pm

            Another idiot troll posts. You guys conduct yourselves like unruly and not very bright and children.

  • PeterH

    May 1, 2021 at 9:03 am

    Allowing the courts to proceed with legal challenges to all of this legislation is the right idea! The first and immediate penalty for the legislative and DeSantis’s bills is an international, business and sports world boycott of Florida. Kick the State where it hurts! On a National level it worked well to get rid of twice impeached Trump!

  • tom palmer

    May 1, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    Let;s see what happens. Filing a suit is one thing. Prevailing is another.

  • Robert R. Sands

    May 1, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    The GOP keeps revealing itself to be anti-democratic and authoritarian and are trying to take away the rights guaranteed to U.S. citizens by the U.S. Constitution. The right to peacefully protest is in the Constitution and they are trying to take that right away and actually legalize murder by letting drivers run over protestors. This is wrong plain and simple! They are also trying to make it as difficult as possible for people to vote especially minority groups. They are un-American and should at the very least be ashamed of themselves. Hopefully the Supreme Court will see this and render a just verdict against DeSantis and his merry band of cohorts!

  • PeterH

    May 1, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    I totally agree Robert….. and thank you for posting. Never again will I vote for any Republican candidate for office. I just listened to Republicans boo Mitt Romney ….. it was embarrassing!

Comments are closed.


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