DeSantis rails against ‘scurrilous’ attacks on Thomas, Alito

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Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida has vowed that if elected president he will defend conservative members of the Supreme Court from “scurrilous” attacks from their ideological critics.

Mr. DeSantis, a 2024 presidential contender, said he will nominate justices to the high court that are cut from the same cloth as Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

“We will also stand and defend them against scurrilous attacks that you are seeing in the media and by leftwing groups,” Mr. DeSantis said Friday at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference in Washington. “The left knows they have lost control of the court and they don’t like it.”

Mr. DeSantis said if Democrats outperform Republicans in the 2024 election they will seek to pack the Supreme Court with liberal-leaning justices.

“You may have 13 people on the Supreme Court when they get done with it, and they will install a liberal majority,” he said. “So they are hard at this effort of trying to lay the groundwork for that by delegitimizing our great conservative justices, and let me just say, I stand with Justice Thomas, I stand with Justice Alito in the face of these attacks. They are wrong.”

Mr. Thomas and Mr. Alito have faced questions over their failure to report gifts and recuse themselves from cases.

ProPublica reported that Harlan Crow, a GOP megadonor, paid more than $150,000 in private school tuition at Hidden Lake Academy and Randolph-Macon Academy for Justice Thomas’ great-nephew, whom the justice took in to raise at the age of 6.

Justice Thomas did not disclose the payments in his financial disclosure forms, and the news outlet suggested that runs afoul of ethical standards required of a federal judge.

ProPublica also reported Justice Thomas did not disclose that he had taken multiple luxury vacations with Mr. Crow or that Mr. Crow had purchased his mother’s home even though she continued to reside there.

Justice Alito wrote in an op-ed this week in The Wall Street Journal that served as a prebuttal to a pending ProPublica article accusing him of ethics violations and highlighting his ties to billionaire Paul Singer.

• Alex Swoyer contributed to this report.

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