What would President Ron DeSantis do? His conservative Florida policies on abortion, guns and pronouns are a big clue.

What would President Ron DeSantis do?  His conservative Florida policies on abortion, guns and pronouns are a big clue.
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From the death penalty to gender identity to abortion, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has cemented himself as a conservative standard-bearer in the run-up to his 2024 presidential announcement.

With the help of the vast majority of the GOP in the state chamber, the Republican has been able to push an aggressive agenda that forms the basis of his White House bid, which he made official in a Federal Election Commission filing on Wednesday.

Here’s a look at some of the policies:


DeSantis signed a bill banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, but it won’t take effect unless the state’s current 15-week ban is upheld in an ongoing legal challenge before the state Supreme Court, which It is controlled by conservatives.

A six-week ban in Florida would be a devastating blow to abortion access in the South, as neighboring states Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi have banned the procedure at all stages of pregnancy. Georgia and South Carolina banned it after heart activity is detected, which is around six weeks.

Critics, including some Republicans, have criticized the six-week law as extreme, given that most women don’t even realize they are pregnant in that period of time.


The DeSantis administration expanded the controversial law critics call “Don’t Say Gay” to cover all grades, banning classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.

The move came after DeSantis signed a bill last year banning such lessons through third grade, a policy he has championed as a means to protect children from sexualization.

This year, the DeSantis administration filed a proposal with the state Board of Education to expand the policy to grades 4-12, unless required by existing state standards or as part of reproductive health instruction that students may choose not to take. The board, appointed by DeSantis, approved the proposal and the Legislature signed it into law.

DeSantis education officials have said the policy is intended to make it clear that teachers must adhere to the state education curriculum.


DeSantis signed a bill that would prevent school personnel or students from being required to refer to people with pronouns that do not correspond to the person’s gender.

The law also prohibits school employees from asking students what pronouns they use and prohibits staff members from sharing their pronouns with students if they do not correspond to the staff member’s gender.

In addition, the law establishes as a policy of all public schools that “a person’s sex is an immutable biological trait and that it is false to attribute a pronoun to a person that does not correspond to their sex.”


DeSantis has signed two major death penalty bills this year.

The first ends a unanimous jury requirement on death penalty sentencing, allowing capital punishment with a jury recommendation of at least 8-4 in favor of execution. Only three states out of the 27 that impose the death penalty do not require unanimity. Alabama allows a 10-2 decision, and Missouri and Indiana allow a judge to decide when there is a split jury.

The change came in response to a verdict that saved the life of high school shooter Marjory Stoneman Douglas, who killed 17 people in 2018.

The other death penalty bill DeSantis signed allows the death penalty for child rape convictions, despite a US Supreme Court ruling that prohibited capital punishment in such cases.

The law is intended to get the conservative-controlled US Supreme Court to reconsider a 2008 ruling that found the use of capital punishment in child sexual assault cases unconstitutional.

Florida is among a handful of states with existing laws that allow capital punishment for child rape convictions, but has not used the punishment. given the judgment of the high court. The Florida Supreme Court also ruled against the use of capital punishment in sexual assault convictions.

DeSantis said he believed the Supreme Court’s decision was “wrong.”


Floridians will be able to carry concealed weapons without a permit under a bill DeSantis signed this session.

The new law will allow anyone who can legally own a gun in Florida to carry one without a permit. It means no training or background check will be required to carry concealed weapons in public. It goes into effect on July 1.

Nearly 3 million Floridians have a concealed weapons permit. While a background check and a three-day waiting period will still be required to purchase a gun from an authorized dealer, they are not required for private transactions or gun trades.

DeSantis has said he thinks Florida should go even further and allow people to openly carry guns. While some legislators have pushed for open port, it doesn’t look like the Legislature will pass such legislation this session.

Still, the governor pushed the law forward, issuing a statement saying, “Constitutional carry is on the books” after he signed it into law.


Another new law prohibits universities from using state or federal funds for diversity, equity and inclusion programs, a consistent goal of DeSantis.

Such initiatives, sometimes referred to as DEIs, have come under increasing criticism from Republicans who argue that the programs are racially divisive.

The law comes a year after he signed legislation called the Stop WOKE Act, which restricts certain race-based conversations and analysis in schools and businesses. Last year’s law prohibits instructions that say members of a race are inherently racist or that they should feel guilty for past actions committed by others of the same race, among other things.


DeSantis also continued his longstanding feud with Disney this year.

The company came under fire for criticizing the so-called Don’t Say Gay law last year.

As punishment, DeSantis dissolved the Disney World Autonomous District and appointed a new board of supervisors that would oversee municipal services at the sprawling theme parks. But before the new board came in, the company pushed through a last-minute deal that stripped the new supervisors of much of their authority.

Disney sued DeSantis in federal court in a case that said the governor launched a “targeted campaign of government retaliation” after the company opposed the sexual orientation and gender identity law.

Since then, DeSantis has signed bills to improve state oversight of the resort’s monorail, as well as undo deals made by the Disney board before the state took over.


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