Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis offered conservative Christians a two-term plan to shove the Supreme Court even further to the right on Monday.
DeSantis has yet to officially announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. But he was in full campaign mode, hoping to rouse the party’s religious base with the prospect of a 7-2 conservative advantage in the high court over eight years. The time span reference was likely a veiled dig at his potential rival for the White House, former President Donald Trump, who is only eligible to serve one more four-year term.
“I think if you look over the next two presidential terms, there is a good chance that you could be called upon to seek replacements for Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Samuel Alito and the issue with that is, you can’t really do better than those two,” DeSantis told the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Orlando, per The Washington Post.
DeSantis warned of a jurist replacement in the mold of John Roberts, a conservative who is perceived by many to be a centrist.
“If you replace a Clarence Thomas with somebody like a Roberts or somebody like that, then you’re gonna actually see the court move to the left, and you can’t do that,” he said.
DeSantis suggested that Roberts and liberal Sonia Sotomayor might also retire in the near future.
“So it is possible that in those eight years, we’d have the opportunity to fortify Justices Alito and Thomas, as well as actually make improvements with those others. And if you were able to do that, you would have a 7 to 2 conservative majority on the Supreme Court that would last a quarter-century,” the governor said to cheers, per Florida Politics.
Trump picked three judges ― the most by any president since Ronald Reagan, according to Pew Research. All of them ― conservatives Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett ― are in their 50s. The three are likely to enforce more conservative rulings such as the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade’s federal abortion protections.