The political approach of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has garnered national notice for his skillful selection of culture war topics and use of a cooperative legislature to promote them.
DeSantis Utilizes Courts
However, while attracting upwards of 15 lawsuits, the strategy has so far produced few court triumphs and cost Florida taxpayers almost $17 million in legal expenses.
In each case, courts have toned down, overturned, or left in legal limbo regulations and laws that put limits on social big media companies, restrict voting, and regulate gender-related medical services.
Others impact expression in the place of work, university campuses, and classes, and develop new offenses for nonviolent demonstrations.
DeSantis has made a few strides. The courts supported the administration’s appeal to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s safety regulations for cruise lines.
During the height of the COVID-19 outbreak, an appeals court reaffirmed the state’s restriction on mask requirements in school systems and declined to halt the governor’s reapportionment plan that granted Republicans four extra seats in the U.S. House.
Suits contesting his removal of a Democratic state attorney, transferring illegal immigrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, the redistricting process plan, a new 15-week abortion restriction, and legislation that would require student and university employee perspective surveys await trial court decisions.
Florida has paid four outside law firms at least $16.7 million so far to help defend the state in lawsuits, including the one over the "Stop WOKE Act" and the Andrew Warren case.https://t.co/yaGNEwDHGd
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) December 22, 2022
Only the restrictions on vaccine passports and mask regulations, out of 15 cultural war regulations criticized for allegedly violating constitutional rights, are exempt.
As per declarations filed on the state’s contractual website and examined by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, the expense to taxpayers for such court challenges has totaled at least $16.7 million.
However, according to DeSantis’ detractors, the governor’s scoring record is immaterial to him.
As he prepares to possibly compete for the presidency in 2024, they view DeSantis’ plan as one aimed to create attention and use the state budget to promote policies that aim to appeal to Republican core supporters.
It’s called undercover journalism. You want to go through all the lawsuits they’ve won, and the hundreds of retractions their critics had to issue? Lol.
— Team DeSantis (@RightOpinionPod) December 29, 2022
Bob Jarvis, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University, stated the vast majority of litigants truly want to win and that is not DeSantis’s goal. He is obsessed with capturing the media narrative.
To DeSantis’ followers, though, the governor’s propensity for litigating matters is a winning strategy that indicates a readiness to question organizations at a moment when the public is furious and mistrustful of government and companies.
DeSantis Has No Time for the “Woke”
DeSantis supporters make reference to his 19-point victory over Democratic contender Charlie Crist in his re-election attempt and new polling averages that demonstrate him defeating former President Trump in a 2024 GOP primary.
His supporters also pointed out the moves from other Republican-led states to embrace similar legislation to Florida as proof that DeSantis successfully slotted into a deeply divided cultural consciousness.
DeSantis stated in his victory speech on election night that they will battle the “woke” with the legislature and combat them in classrooms. He said this also applies to businesses. DeSantis insisted they will never give in to the “woke” crowd.