Everything we know about Ron DeSantis’ policies as he launches 2024 campaign
As Florida Governor Ron DeSantis prepares to announce his official bid for president of the United States, Americans are getting a taste of what a future under Mr DeSantis could look like.
For months, Mr DeSantis, 44, has been called a possible frontrunner for the GOP nomination in the media because of his reputation for passing conservative legislation and comfortable re-election to the governor’s mansion.
From passing a six-week abortion ban to eliminating concealed carry permits, Mr DeSantis has proven he is willing to pass controversial legislation in the name of uniting the state under right-leaning values.
And the Florida governor seems to be hoping for the same if he were to become US president.
Here’s what Mr DeSantis has said about the future of the US and what he thinks of certain policies.
Mr DeSantis is anti-abortion, believing “The right to life is the most foundational of our God-given rights.”
In April, Mr DeSantis quietly signed Senate Bill 300, known as the “Heartbeat Protection Act”, which prohibits abortions after six weeks of gestation with the exceptions to save a woman’s life, a fatal fetal abnormality or in the event of rape or incest so long as the woman can provide documentation such as a police report.
The six-week ban will only go into effect 30 days after the Florida Supreme Court rules on a challenge to the state’s current 15-week ban under House Bill 5 which Mr DeSantis signed into law last year.
Should SB 300 go into effect, it would make Florida one of the most restrictive states for women to access reproductive healthcare like abortions.
On the Supreme Court
While giving a speech at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in May, Mr DeSantis advocated for the Supreme Court to become more conservative by replacing moderate or left-leaning justices with conservative jurists.
Citing Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito as “the gold standard for jurisprudence”, Mr DeSantis said in the future the court should “fortify” itself with the addition of two like-minded Justices.
“It is possible that in those eight years we would have the opportunity to fortify Justices Alito and Thomas, as well as actually make improvements with those others,” Mr DeSantis said.
“If you were able to do that then you would have a 7-2 conservative majority on the Supreme Court that would last a quarter century, so this is big stuff.”
On gun control
Mr DeSantis is against gun control, having received an A+, the highest rating, from the National Rifle Association (NRA)
“Ron DeSantis vigorously opposes gun, magazine and ammunition bans,” the NRA said.
In April, Mr DeSantis signed House Bill 543 into law, eliminating the requirement for permits to carry concealed weapons.
On LGBT+ Rights
The Humans Right Campaign, one of the state’s largest LGBT+ rights advocacy groups, and Equality Florida issued a traveling warning to those in the LGBTQ+ community in May.
“While not a blanket recommendation against travel nor a call for boycott, the travel advisory outlines the devastating impacts of laws that are hostile to the LGBTQ community, restrict access to reproductive health care, repeal gun safety policies, foment racial prejudice, and attack public education by banning books and censoring curriculum in order that prospective travelers or residents can make the best decisions for themselves and their families,” the press release said.
One of Mr DeSantis’ most controversial legislation, House Bill 1557, involves restricting LGBT+ rights in education.
The legislation, dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, prohibits classroom education or instruction involving gender identity or sexual orientation.
Mr DeSantis has also signed legislation that prohibits transgender people from using public facilities that align with their gender identity and one that prohibits children from attending “adult live performances” like drag shows.
On Covid restrictions
The Florida governor first made headlines during the pandemic when he emerged as a leader who vehemently opposed Covid-19 protocols like mask mandates, social distancing and vaccine requirements.
“Federal vaccine mandates and restrictions were never about protecting Americans from a virus, they were exercising control at the expense of the American economy and the American way of life,” Mr DeSantis said in a press release.
Mr DeSantis received harsh criticism from the public for refusing to implement restrictions that were proven to stop the spread of the virus.