DeSantis Is Showing Strength. He’s Also Vulnerable on His Right Flank.

Anti-abortion groups, however, sense a shifting political landscape after the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade. In red states like Florida, where Republicans now hold supermajorities in both chambers of the State Legislature, they see a chance to push a maximalist agenda.

At the time DeSantis signed the 15-week ban, the Supreme Court had yet to rule on whether a similar law in Mississippi was constitutional, and it was not yet clear whether Florida’s new law would be legal. (It still isn’t clear: A lawsuit challenging the legislation is making its way through the state courts.)

“This will represent the most significant protections for life that we have seen in a generation,” DeSantis said during the signing ceremony, which he held at Nación de Fe, an evangelical church in Osceola County, one the most heavily Hispanic areas in the country.

Then he avoided the subject for much of his re-election campaign. During a debate against Charlie Crist, his Democratic opponent, DeSantis said he was “proud of the 15 weeks that we did,” but declined to say whether he would support a full ban.

Which is not to say the subject of abortion never came up: In August, DeSantis suspended Andrew Warren, the state attorney in Hillsborough County, in part for signing a statement opposing the criminalization of abortion.

Warren, an elected Democrat, is now suing DeSantis, arguing that the governor violated his First Amendment rights. DeSantis personally edited language concerning abortion in the executive order suspending Warren, documents emerging from that lawsuit showed.

On Tuesday, DeSantis called on the Florida Supreme Court to set up a grand jury to investigate pharmaceutical companies over claims that they misled the public about the side effects of vaccines, a position at odds with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health experts denounced his comments as dangerous, while Trump allies saw the move as a ploy to move to the former president’s right on the pandemic.



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