Apparently, hidden within the Supreme Court’s recent Moore v. Harper ruling concerning North Carolina’s congressional redistricting plan is a warning to Gov. Ron DeSantis that he crossed the constitutional line when the State of Florida voided its contract with the Disney Corporation.
In April 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis went full fascist when he signed a bill revoking Disney’s tax status after the company expressed its displeasure with Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, legislation commonly referred to by LGBT radicals as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Instead of standing as a defender of free market capitalism and free speech, DeSantis determined the Constitution and liberty were secondary to his presidential ambitions.
Of course, I don’t support the Disney pro-LGBT agenda nor their assault on traditional family values, but Governor Ron DeSantis’ use of government power to silence those he doesn’t approve of isn’t the answer, and it looks like the Supreme Court is about to let him know that (via Dealbreaker.com):
[DeSantis] considered blowing up [Disney’s] special tax district, but that blew up in his face instead. Then he replaced the district’s board with his people, but they never bothered to object as the prior board entered publicly noticed, legally binding agreements that stripped the board of power. He [then] rammed through a law voiding those agreements — managing to moot his own board’s rights in the process because his lawyers are wildly bad at this — prompting Disney to file a federal suit.
In addition to a compelling First Amendment argument, Disney pointed out that the U.S. Constitution explicitly prohibits state governments from voiding contracts. It’s a provision that the courts haven’t invoked in a long time. (Emphasis mine)
The provision in question is the Contract Clause found in Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution. When the Court rejected the independent state legislature theory in Moore v. Harper, it noted that there are other places in the Constitution where the federal courts have the authority to ding state legislatures and cited the Contracts Clause as an example:
A similar principle applies with respect to the Contracts Clause, which provides that “[n]o state shall… pass any… Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts.” Art. I, §10, cl. 1.
Governor Ron DeSantis has been riding a wave of popularity with “conservatives” across America as a defender of free market capitalism and liberty, but for those willing to look beyond the rhetoric, we see that the Florida governor loves nationalism and fascism; and he governs accordingly.
Once the exclusive purview of Democrats and the Far-Left, liberty-killing big government has been embraced by so-called conservatives within the Republican Party under “America First” nationalism, a key component of the Donald Trump era.
This was the theme at the first annual National Conservatism Conference in 2019, a get-together designed to explore new ways to use the hammer and sickle of big government to right the “wrongs” brought about by traditional conservatism. According to organizers, conservatism as traditionally understood had outlived its economic and cultural usefulness.
“Today we declare independence,” NCC organizer Yoram Hazony said at the inaugural meeting, “from the set of ideas that sees the atomic individual, the free and equal individual, as the only thing that matters in politics.”
In its coverage of the 2019 conference, Reason.com concluded:
“The true object of the nationalists’ ire is much closer to home: They cannot abide individual Americans making social and economic choices they do not like. For consumers, the question might be whether to buy foreign or domestic. For a business owner, it might be where to open a factory.
“Regardless, the new nationalists have decided not only that there is a right answer from a moral perspective, but that government should force you to choose correctly.” (Emphasis mine)
Subsequent NatCon meetings reinforced the same love of fascism and nationalism we are witnessing from Ron DeSantis. During an appearance at the 2022 National Conservatism Conference, DeSantis accused “corporate America” of having too much power, and he reiterated his desire to wield government power against people who don’t meet his expectations. (via BusinessInsider.com)
In an hourlong speech before the National Conservatism Conference, DeSantis said Republicans’ approach and thinking about big business needs to change, arguing that his experiences in Florida provide a “lesson for people on the right.”
“Corporatism is not the same as free enterprise, and I think too many Republicans have viewed limited government to basically mean whatever is best for corporate America is how we want to do the economy,” DeSantis said during his keynote speech before a crowd of friendly attendees at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort.
“What I’m doing is using government to give space to the individual citizen to be able to participate in society to be able to speak his or her mind,” DeSantis said.
“And I think that’s an absolutely appropriate use of government power.” (Emphasis mine)
I thought government is supposed to protect the individual citizen’s rights, not create them.
Ron DeSantis’ has a track record of fascism and nationalism and how his actions have been found to be unconstitutional.
In May 2021, DeSantis made good on his promise to destroy the free speech rights of so-called Big Tech when he signed a law he claimed would “[protect] the speech of Floridians who face being removed from social-media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook” while conveniently leaving out the massive fines he would levy against social media companies for removing political candidates from their platforms. In July 2021, a federal judge blocked it because it violated free speech rights.
In April 2022, DeSantis signed the Orwellian-sounding “Individual Freedom Act” — aka the “Stop Woke Act” — into law even though it was a foregone conclusion that it would end up in court and that it would be found to be an unconstitutional violation of free speech. After a hearing in June 2022, a federal judge ruled in August last year that the “Stop Woke Act” was an attempt by government to constrain workplace sensitivity training.
“Florida’s legislators may well find plaintiffs’ speech ‘repugnant.’ But under our constitutional scheme, the ‘remedy’ for repugnant speech is more speech, not enforced silence. Indeed, it is the purpose of the First Amendment to preserve an uninhibited marketplace of ideas in which truth will ultimately prevail,” U.S. District Judge Mark Walker wrote in his 44-page decision. (Emphasis mine)
Just like Democrats use government power to advance the ideology of the progressive-left, Trumpist Republicans have done the same to promote the ideology of the fascist-right, along with media conservatives in-name-only like Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson.
Ironically, there are other Conservative, Inc. talking heads in the media (I won’t mention any names, but his initials are Steve Deace) spending a lot of their time defending DeSantis as a “not Trump” Republican even as evidence mounts to the contrary.
Governor Ron DeSantis’ love of nationalism and fascism are foundational to his presidential platform for 2024, but when it comes to Disney, the Supreme Court is about to let him know that it’s also unconstitutional.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.
For media inquiries or to have David speak to your group, use the Contact Us form.