When Donald Trump pledged in 2016 to “open up” libel laws, critics guffawed, noting that a U.S. president lacked the authority to tinker with Supreme Court doctrine.
Now Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential GOP presidential candidate, appears to have his own approach to tearing down barriers protecting news organizations from defamation suits. “Stay tuned,” DeSantis said at an event last week in which he guided a panel discussion on media regulation. During an hour of discussion, DeSantis, an ace practitioner of GOP media-bashing rhetoric, showed why some critics view him as a more dangerous embodiment of Trump’s two-bit authoritarianism.
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