Ron DeSantis has redesigned the Florida courtroom with assist from the mysterious Leonard Leo panel
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has transformed the Florida Supreme Court from a liberal majoritarian to a right-wing conservative with the help of a “secret panel” headed by Leonard Leo. You know Leonard Leo, he is the man behind the illiberal, undemocratic catastrophe that is currently reigning on the US Supreme Court.
“DeSantis took advantage of the unusual resignations of three Liberal judges at once to quickly reshape the court. He did so with the help of a secret panel headed by Leonard Leo — the key architect of the conservative majority of the US Supreme Court — who quietly reviewed candidates for the judiciary in an Orlando conference room three weeks before the governor’s inauguration.” , he said Washington Post reported.
Dish for $ale
Leonard Leo is the guy who helped Trump “pick” justice nominees, or rather, who told puppet Trump who to pick. Leo did so, it turns out, with the help of Kellyanne Conway, who appears to have paid Leo “between $1 million and $5 million … to sell her business while campaigning on Leo’s list of preferred court candidates,” according to May 2023 reporting from Politically.
Leo did this through the Federalist Society, which, according to its tax status, is not allowed to engage in politics. But be aware: Leo “received a historic $1.6 billion gift for his conservative legal network through mediation by the Federalist Society” to tycoon Barre Seid, according to Politico. They report that this is probably the largest political donation “ever”.
What does someone buy with that much money? Leo is also basically accused of proprietary trading, which is par for the course for people greedy and selfish enough to want to destroy America’s promise as a liberal democracy.
The Post reports that DeSantis bragged about this secret process in a podcast. In a democracy, the scrutiny of judges in every court should be subject to public scrutiny.
“DeSantis appointed three new judges over the course of two weeks, turning the court from what he called a 4-3 liberal majority to a 6-1 conservative majority.” Then two former Republican-appointed judges resigned, leaving DeSantis more judges could appoint his taste.
How do you take over a democracy? You set up judges to rule in favor of your seizure of power, you intimidate and silence critical media and whistleblowers, you ban books and use “education” to indoctrinate through selective history and teaching, and in less than ten years you have something that looks like a … democracy is superficial because people “vote” but it doesn’t work like a democracy.
After DeSantis was elected in Florida, he began using dubious legal means to seize power and then legislate to make his confiscations legal. He encouraged the ban on books By enacting legislation making it easy for parents to contest any book they don’t like (he has circulated this in other Republican states as well), he signed the so-called “don’t say gay” He used all the power at his disposal to force Disney into submission (an ongoing struggle). DeSantis does this effectively Viktor Orbán governs how the autocratization of a democracy can be achieved without apparent violence.
Yes, that has already happened to some extent under former President Donald Trump, who gave us this corrupt Supreme Court. But Trump was messy. It’s full of drama. He failed to inspire the confidence that an effective gentle authoritarian needs to achieve his goals. Ron DeSantis could if he can spread enough propaganda to get elected and not be destroyed by criminal suspect Donald Trump in the Republican primary.
Florida is a warning shot for the country of what’s at stake.
There are several antidotes to rising authoritarianism. One of them is to use government to show what positive things it can do.
This knowledge could help bring more focus to the obstructionism and nihilistic tendencies of the Republican House of Representatives. Republicans aren’t just trying to prevent President Biden from getting the things the people want; They are actively demonstrating that our government is not working.
The reality, of course, is that our government works, albeit imperfectly, when the elected people actually want to do the work we pay them to do.
Hear Sarah here on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast.
Sarah has been approved for reporting on President Barack Obama, then-Vice President Joe Biden, and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. She also exclusively interviewed spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi several times and reported exclusively on her first appearance at home after the first impeachment of then-President Donald Trump.
Sarah is a two-time Telly Award-winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Connect with Sarah on Post, Mastodon @PoliticusSarah@Journa.Host and Twitter.