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This Week in Schadenfreude: DeSantis Gets Dragged

These days, good news is sparse for Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). His presidential campaign is flailing, and he's either already fallen behind Nikki Haley, or will do so soon. Nothing he does seems to fix it; it turns out that putting lifts in your boots doesn't cancel out, say, the fact that people find you unlikable.

Meanwhile, many of his legislative "accomplishments" have vanished into thin air, or are on life support. In the latter category is the law, passed by the Florida legislature at DeSantis' request, banning drag shows. The law makes it a crime to admit a child to a performance depicting lewd conduct or "lewd exposure of prosthetic or imitation genitals or breasts." Hamburger Mary's, an Orlando restaurant that hosts drag shows, sued. A federal judge tossed out the law as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech.

Florida felt that not having the law in force was an emergency and asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the law while the appeals process plays out. Yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to reinstate the law by a vote of 6-3, so drag shows will be allowed in Florida until the entire appeals process runs its course. After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has its say, the case will almost certainly return to Supremes for the final call.

You presumably don't need us to tell you which three justices were in the minority. And if there is any evidence that Neil Gorsuch, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas are just pulling jurisprudence out of their posterior, in service of their personal political agenda, this is surely it. The courts have made clear, again and again, that clothing is included in protected speech. See, among others, Guiles v. Marineau, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, and Dariano v. Morgan Hill Unified School District. That means that constraints on clothing can only be imposed if there is a compelling government interest. But there is none here. There's nothing to support this fear, much less compelling evidence.

In any case, another scapegoating, culture-wars DeSantis policy is crumbling into dust. Good enough for him. (V & Z)

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