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Supreme Court Temporarily Pauses Abortion Pill Restrictions

The legal fight on the FDA’s approval of mifepristone continues.

Abortion rights advocates rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on April 14.

The Supreme Court on Friday temporarily paused lower court rulings that restricted access to the abortion pill mifepristone, which would have dealt a major blow to national abortion access had it gone into effect.

A Texas federal judge ruled last week that mifepristone, one of the medications used to induce an abortion, had been improperly approved by the Food and Drug Administration and should be yanked from the U.S. market. The Department of Justice appealed the decision, but the Fifth Circuit Court only partially stayed the ruling while it considers the full appeal suit. Meanwhile, dueling rulings on the pill made it tricky for the FDA to figure out what exactly it should do next.

The Supreme Court decided to stay the Texas ruling until April 19, meaning mifepristone’s status remains unchanged—for less than a week. Economist reporter Steven Mazie, who covers the Supreme Court, pointed out that this is purely an administrative stay to give the court time to consider the appeal.

Both the Department of Justice and Danco Laboratories, which manufactures mifepristone, had appealed the Fifth Circuit ruling to the Supreme Court. Both received identical responses about the administrative stay. Danco argued that the partial stay would “irreparably injure” its business because it would have to change its drug labels, recertify providers, and get approval for a supplemental new drug application, all processes that could take months.

Danco also pointed out that it could not comply with both the Fifth Circuit ruling and the dueling injunction out of Washington ordering that mifepristone access remain unchanged. The company argued that if the Supreme Court weren’t willing to completely stay the Texas ruling, then the high court should hear the entire case now and make a final decision.

A bigger issue at play, though, is that non-elected judges who do not have medical backgrounds are making decisions about medication. As Rachel Rebouché, the dean of Temple University’s law school, previously told The New Republic, “The question for appellate courts is not just about abortion but about deference to a federal agency’s expertise.”

The Texas ruling “undermined” the FDA’s authority, she said. “To take seriously that it ignored risks, risks unsupported by any credible evidence, suggests questions as to what federal courts might decide about other federal agencies’ decisions.”

Republican Says More Kids Are Suicidal Because Social Media is Pressuring Them to Be Trans

Yes, you read that right.

Vincenzo Nuzzolese/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Nebraska Republican R. Brad von Gillern says that more kids are becoming violent, performing poorly in school, and committing suicide because social media is pressuring them to become transgender.

During a hearing on Legislative Bill 574, which would ban gender-affirming care for people under 18, von Gillern argued that the bill “does nothing to promote hatred or bigotry,” but rather just protects “children from making childish decisions.”

Von Gillern went on to argue that children make decisions “based upon the worst criteria: peer pressure, lack of information, emotions, popularity, and today more than ever, social media pressure.” But instead of showing any concern for children’s decision-making or autonomy, the Nebraska Republican proceeded to blame acceptance of trans people for many of the problems facing the next generation.

The Republican cited three things he was certain about as a child: that there was a God who loved him; that his parents loved him; and that he was a boy who would someday grow up to be a man. He contrasts his own certainty with what he says is a contemporary time in which “many kids don’t have the security of knowing any of those three things.”

“Nearly all [kids] are being told that the one thing they knew about themselves the most, that they are a boy or a girl, might be a mistake,” von Gillern said. (Nearly all kids are not, in fact, being told that their gender identity is a mistake.)

He continued. “Is it any wonder that the teen suicide rate has skyrocketed? Is there any question about why kids are reacting with violence against one another? Is it shocking that school behavior and performance is declining?”

To von Gillern, the answer was simple. “When you remove all of the securities from a child, you shouldn’t be surprised when they act and react poorly,” he said.

“The opponents of 574 say that the suicide rate in kids is up because gender affirmation is being withheld from them,” von Gillern continued, giving a nod toward research that has repeatedly shown that this is indeed the case. Nevertheless, von Gillern, ever the expert on gender identity and children’s sociology, had his own conclusion. “I postulate that the suicide rate is increased because their lives have been filled with question marks rather than affirmation of who they truly are, and who they were created to be.”

The Nebraska Republican’s style of essentially denying the existence of a wide body of work on these issues (let alone denying the existence of actual trans people) is not new. In an earlier debate on the bill, von Gillern compared gender-affirming care to shock treatments, lobotomies, and forced sterilizations.

Aside from von Gillern’s outright dismissal of rigorous work concerned with children’s well-being, his comments embody a more basic deficiency. To say that practically all children are becoming not just more violent or poorly performing in school, but indeed more suicidal, because of efforts to affirm someone’s gender identity is stunning. It’s either a willful or an unintelligent display of narrow thinking.

Our youth do in fact face a troubling slate of challenges: growing up at a time when school-shooting drills are as routine as assemblies; when their libraries and books and teachers are being attacked; when, indeed, phones and social media are placing so much pressure on them. But to instead focus your energy on making the lives of already marginalized children even more difficult is a level of dishonesty that serves no child, regardless of their gender identity.

Trump’s DeSantis Pudding-Fingers Attack Ad Is So Messy

This will follow DeSantis everywhere.

Ron DeSantis
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s team has clearly identified Ron DeSantis as the biggest challenger for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and they are going after the governor hard.

The Make America Great Again, Inc., PAC released an ad Friday attacking a few of DeSantis’s policies but mainly highlighting a month-old report that the governor once ate pudding with his fingers.

“Ron DeSantis loves sticking his fingers where they don’t belong, and we’re not just talking about pudding,” the ad narrator said.

The Daily Beast reported in March that DeSantis used his fingers to eat chocolate pudding while on a plane trip in 2019.

“He would sit in meetings and eat in front of people,” a former DeSantis staffer told The Daily Beast, “always like a starving animal who has never eaten before … getting shit everywhere.”

Enshrined in DeSantis lore is an episode from four years ago: During a private plane trip from Tallahassee to Washington, D.C., in March of 2019, DeSantis enjoyed a chocolate pudding dessert—by eating it with three of his fingers, according to two sources familiar with the incident.

DeSantis has denied the story, which has big salad-comb vibes.

But Team Trump seized on the story anyway, and the ad—while deeply weird and unsettling to watch—admittedly does an excellent job of undermining DeSantis’s self-styled persona as a right-wing, “anti-woke” warrior.

The ad comes the day after members of Trump’s inner circle tore into DeSantis for going on a book tour as parts of his state struggle with record rainfall and major flooding. Fort Lauderdale, in southern Florida, got about 26 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. A meteorologist for the National Weather Service described the rainfall as a “1-in-1,000 year event, or greater.” But the mayor of Fort Lauderdale said Thursday that DeSantis had yet to contact him.

Fort Lauderdale is under water and DeSantis is campaigning in Ohio right now instead of taking care of the people suffering in his state,” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted.

Far-right activist and Islamophobe Laura Loomer, whom the Trump campaign is reportedly considering hiring, tweeted, “Instead of doing his job, today @GovRonDeSantis is flying to Ohio to campaign for President.”

The ad has already aired on Fox News, CNN, and Newsmax.

DeSantis has yet to formally announce that he is running for president, although he is widely expected to. Trump has previously attacked DeSantis, nicknaming him “Ron DeSanctimonious’’ and “Meatball Ron.” Now that the attacks are ramping up, it’s clear that he and his team view DeSantis as Trump’s biggest threat.

Tennessee Republicans Kill Red Flag Bill That Could Have Stopped Nashville Shooting

The move comes after thousands of protesters demanded lawmakers take action on gun control.

Seth Herald/Getty Images
Protesters gather inside the Tennessee State Capitol to call for an end to gun violence and support stronger gun laws on March 30.

On Thursday, Tennessee Republicans had their first opportunity to show Democrats, Tennesseans, and the country their willingness to work together to enact baseline gun safety reform.

And they refused to.

Democrats had filed a “red flag” bill in the wake of the Nashville shooting that could have prevented the shooting in the first place. Tennessee Republicans had shut down a similar bill two years ago. But yet again, House Republicans blocked the bill, voting it down in committee on Thursday. (Tennessee’s supermajority of Republicans means that every committee vote largely reflects their own will.)

Earlier this week, Tennessee’s Republican Governor Bill Lee suggested he would support reforms like a red flag law—perhaps buoyed in part by his personally losing two friends in the Nashville school shooting. But it seems even that is not enough for him to flex any political will on his fellow Republicans.

Republicans’ rejection of the opportunity came after the Nashville school shooting that left three children and three adults dead, after the ensuing protests that brought thousands of people onto the streets, and after Republicans were exposed nationwide for their deeper corruption after expelling two Black Democratic representatives (who have since been reinstated) for standing with the protesters.

“The question is who has the ball; at some point, somebody has to take ownership for this being successful,” Senate Minority Leader Jeff Yarbro told local affiliate WKRN. “If we are not going to see leadership in the House or the Senate or the governor sort of stand up and say, ‘I am not just encouraging this as a good idea, but I am going to put my political capital on the line to get it done,’ then we are not going to see it get done.”

Republicans, for their part, just seem uninterested. It appears their energy is dwindling after being placed under new scrutiny for their brazen campaign to expel Democrats Gloria Johnson, Justin Jones, and Justin Pearson after the trio interrupted House proceedings to protest inaction on gun violence, in solidarity with the thousands of Tennesseans who had been protesting right outside the Capitol building.

After Republicans successfully expelled Jones and Pearson, thousands continued protesting, while revelations of the Republicans’ corruption came to the forefront. They have wielded their supermajority to make up their own rules and kill bills at a moment’s notice on no coherent basis. While expelling Jones and Pearson for breaches of “decorum,” they have not expelled members committing far worse, severe violations, like child molestation, or a member allegedly assaulting Jones amid the protests. And now, reporting has shown that House Speaker Cameron Sexton has lied about his place of residence and taken advantage of taxpayer-funded travel allowances, in violation of the state Constitution.

“They are taking on a lot of water, and they want to get out of here as soon as possible, and it’s damage of their own making,” Democratic Representative John Ray Clemmons told WKRN.

GOP Candidates Put Guns Over Lives, Pledging to the NRA After Mass Shootings

The truth on the Republican Party is simple.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Donald Trump at the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits in 2018

Every Republican running or rumored to be running for president is speaking to the National Rifle Association convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, beginning on Friday. The convention is taking place on the anniversary of one of the deadliest mass shootings in the city’s history and follows two major mass shootings in the last month.

On March 27, a shooter killed three children and three adults at a private Christian grade school in Nashville, Tennessee. The shooting spurred thousands of residents to protest for days on end in support of gun safety measures and the Democratic lawmakers who were expelled for joining their protests. Two weeks later, on April 10, a shooter killed five people and left another eight injured in Louisville, Kentucky. These are just two of the more than 150 mass shootings in America this year.

Saturday, April 15 also marks two years since one of the deadliest mass shootings in state history, when a shooter killed nine people and injured another seven at a FedEx facility in the same city where the NRA is hosting its weekend convention.

Meanwhile, every Republican likely vying to lead this country is openly dishonoring the people killed, their families and friends, and every single person in America frustrated by government inaction on gun violence.

By video, the NRA convention will warmly welcome Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott. Donald Trump, Mike Pence, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and Vivek Ramaswamy will all be appearing in person, alongside other shameless Republicans.

It’s not a matter of whether it’s surprising that Republicans are tripping over themselves to satisfy the NRA. Sometimes the most stirring and instructive conclusions can be found in simplicity: Every single potential presidential candidate of a major political party is bowing down to the NRA in the wake of yet another pair of devastating mass shootings.

To call it depraved would be generous. The subservience that the Republican Party has to a group that insists upon making it as easy as possible for anyone to access tools used for killing is unworldly. The phrase “dodging a bullet” is becoming less a plain colloquial metaphor, and more guiding advice for anyone trying to do anything in public in the United States.

Ron DeSantis Knows Just How Unpopular His Abortion Ban Is

In the dead of night, the Florida governor signed a bill that will take away health care for millions of people in his state.

Ron DeSantis smiles while seated and holding a mic, in conversation with someone across from him.
Chris duMond/Getty Images

Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning abortion after six weeks in the dead of night, possibly because he knew just how unpopular the move was, even among his own base.

The Florida governor signed the bill late Thursday night with little fanfare. The chilling photo of the event shows him surrounded by mostly women, some of whom brought their children.

The measure prohibits abortion after six weeks, before many people even know they are pregnant. It makes exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, or to save the life of the pregnant person. However, two doctors have to agree the abortion was “necessary,” and the patient “must provide a copy of a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation proving” they were the victim of rape or incest.

The law will also lower the amount of money that the state Department of Health is required to spend on pregnancy and parental support services, which include pregnancy testing, counseling, prenatal classes, adoption education, and material aid such as diapers and formula. People in Florida can currently receive such support for up to a year after the child is born. The new law removes that element, and will allow state funds to go to anti-abortion “clinics.” Abortion rights advocates regularly point out that states with some of the toughest abortion laws often fail to set up social welfare systems to support children after they are born.

The measure also removes the clause that specifically states abortion regulations “may not impose an unconstitutional burden on a woman’s freedom to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy,” specifically stripping away people’s autonomy.

For comparison, when DeSantis signed the 15-week abortion ban into law, exactly a year ago, he hosted a huge, highly publicized event to mark the occasion.

DeSantis, who is currently on a book tour, is widely expected to announce he’s running for president. The photo of him signing the bill could haunt him for the entirety of his campaign. Republicans have long targeted abortion, but since Roe v. Wade was overturned, they have tried to stay away from the issue. Last year, when Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a federal 15-week abortion ban just before the midterms, many of his colleagues slammed the move. The bill never made it to the Senate floor.

DeSantis’s public support for a six-week ban is also more extreme than several other Republican 2024 hopefuls. Nikki Haley has changed how she speaks about abortion, adopting a waffle-y stance designed not to alienate anyone. She maintains she is “pro-life” but doesn’t “judge anyone who is pro-choice.” Tim Scott struggled to form a coherent sentence about abortion rights on Thursday but ultimately said he supports a federal ban on abortion after 20 weeks and would consider a ban at 15 weeks.

DeSantis’s move could even hurt him at home. The vast majority of Floridians, 64 percent, think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to a study released in February by the Public Religion Research Institute. And as shown by a recent landslide Democratic victory in Wisconsin, abortion wins elections.

For now, Florida still allows abortion up to 15 weeks, which has made it a major hub for people traveling out of their home state for the procedure. That law is currently being challenged in the state Supreme Court. The six-week ban will only take effect if the conservative-controlled court upholds the current law. If the new law goes into effect, it will have a significant negative effect across the rest of the South. Many of Florida’s neighbors imposed harsher restrictions on the procedure since Roe was overturned.

But regardless of how it plays out in the courts, DeSantis has publicly endorsed a very unpopular position. Every time an abortion-related issue has been on the ballot, the people vote in favor of protecting reproductive rights, not taking them away. Signing the six-week ban into law will haunt DeSantis for the rest of his political career.

Michigan Now Requires Universal Background Checks for Guns After Deadly MSU Shooting

A Democratic trifecta in Michigan is delivering on its promises to voters.

Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

On Thursday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed monumental gun violence prevention bills into law. The bills require anyone buying a gun in Michigan to face a background check and requires gun owners to safely store all guns and ammo away from anyone under the age of 18. The enactment of the bills reflects a Democratic trifecta that is showing the nation what it means to honor the will of the people.

“All of these initiatives are supported by a majority of Michiganders,” Whitmer said. “I’ve gotten letters from all across our state asking for us to get this done.”

The safe storage law charts entirely new territory, while the background check law expands what had previously just covered the sale of pistols. Now, no matter what firearm an individual is purchasing, they will be subject to a background check.

The policies, which will go into effect next year, are part of a broader 11-bill package pushed by lawmakers and residents in the aftermath of a shooter killing three students and injuring five others at Michigan State University in February.

Michigan Democrats had already planned to act on gun violence with their newfound trifecta, but the tragedy only heightened the urgency. The two gun laws, as well as others that Michigan is still in the process of passing, had in fact been put together last year, after a shooting at Oxford High School left four students dead and seven others injured. The difference between then and now? Republicans controlled the state House and Senate last year. But now Democrats are in full control and acting in accordance with the voters who gave them that control.

“I’m not asking for your pity. I’m asking for your change,” Oxford High School senior Reina St. Juliana, whose younger sister Hana was killed in Oxford High, said to lawmakers during a hearing on March 2.

The safe storage law garnered particular support after the Oxford High School shooting. The shooter, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, had killed four students and injured another seven people using a gun that his father purchased for him, and one that was not securely stored away from him.

Similarly, a red flag law could have prevented the shooting. Crumbley had exhibited signs of mental distress and potential endangerment to his family and peers. A red flag law in Michigan may be coming next, as the Senate is expected to vote on a bill as soon as next week.

Michigan’s action on preventing gun violence stands in stark contrast to Republican-led state governments across the country.

In the aftermath of the Nashville school shooting last month that left three children and three adults dead, state Republicans—led by House Speaker Cameron Sexton—exhausted more effort trying to expel three Democrats who stood in solidarity with thousands of Tennesseans protesting gun violence than they did actually addressing gun violence.

Before the shooting, Tennessee’s Republican supermajority, notorious for playing by their own rules and shutting down bills for no reason, stomped on a red flag bill that could have stopped the Nashville shooting. Governor Bill Lee also signed a bill that allowed people to openly carry handguns without permits. Also after the shooting, Tennessee Representative Tim Burchett lazily threw up his hands, saying “We’re not gonna fix” school shootings.

Finally, after Tennessee Republicans embarrassed themselves on a national stage, Governor Lee said he would support gun reform, without getting into any specifics. If he wants to take action, he can; after all, he and his fellow Republicans have helped shut down specific solutions for years. And now there’s no excuse: Expelled and then quickly reinstated Tennessee Representative Justin Jones has promised to file 15 gun safety bills that Republicans will be held accountable on.

In nearby Kentucky, a mass shooting in Louisville left five people dead and another eight injured. Less than two weeks before the tragedy, Kentucky had banned local law enforcement agencies from enforcing federal firearm laws.

And in Florida, right after the Nashville shooting, Governor Ron DeSantis quietly signed a bill allowing people to carry concealed loaded guns without any permits, training, or background checks.

All this to say, the contradictions are ever-escalating. While coverage of one mass shooting painfully seeps into the next, Republicans are openly making it easier for anyone to access weapons of killing. Meanwhile, Michigan Democrats, under the leadership of Whitmer, are showing in clear form what it means to actually respond to crisis on behalf of the people who trust you to act. Whitmer was given a trifecta for a reason—and she is doing justice to it.

Florida GOP-Controlled Legislature Passes Six-Week Abortion Ban

Florida is one of the last abortion havens in the South. Now a near-total abortion ban is headed to the governor’s desk.

John Parra/Getty Images for MoveOn
An abortion rights activist holds a sign at a protest in support of abortion access on July 13, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Florida’s House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday banning abortion after six weeks, a measure that will have massive consequences for swathes of the southern United States.

The bill passed by a vote of 70–40, mainly along party lines. It now goes to the desk of Governor Ron DeSantis, who is expected to sign it into law. The measure prohibits abortion after six weeks, before many people even know they are pregnant. It makes exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities, or to save the life of the pregnant person. However, two doctors have to agree the abortion was “necessary,” and the patient “must provide a copy of a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation proving” they were the victim of rape or incest.

Florida previously allowed abortion up to 15 weeks, making it a major hub for people traveling out of their home state for the procedure. If the bill becomes law, it will cut off abortion access for a majority of the southeastern states.

Several Democrats shared stories of people who had miscarried or been harmed when they were denied an abortion.

“Hearing these stories, it just really brings home how the decisions that we make have an impact,” said Hillary Cassel. “These are the exact scenarios where we are reminded that abortion is health care. That women, as a result of these obstacles being created … are going to die. Women are going to be rendered unable to be have wanted pregnancies in the future.”

House Democrats had proposed nearly 50 amendments aimed at trying to lessen the negative effects of the bill, including striking down the ban entirely, banning state funds from going to clinics run by religious organizations that try to convince people not to get an abortion, and making it easier to prove someone qualifies for an abortion. All of the amendments were voted down.

The bill will also lower the amount of money that the state Department of Health is required to spend on pregnancy and parental support services to 85 percent, down from 90 percent. These services include pregnancy testing, counseling, prenatal classes, adoption education, and material aid such as diapers and formula. Abortion rights advocates regularly point out that states with some of the toughest abortion laws often fail to set up social welfare systems to support children after they are born. People can currently receive such support for up to a year after the child is born. The bill removes that element.

The measure removes the clause that specifically states abortion regulations “may not impose an unconstitutional burden on a woman’s freedom to decide whether to terminate her pregnancy,” specifically stripping away people’s autonomy.

The debate was temporarily delayed when protesters began shouting in the gallery. The House took a 10-minute recess, during which security cleared the gallery and closed doors to spectators. Protesters gathered outside the chamber and were joined by Democratic lawmakers in chanting and singing.

If it becomes law, as it is expected to, the bill will have a significant negative effect across the rest of the South. Florida has become an abortion haven in the region, as many neighboring states have imposed harsher restrictions on the procedure since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Earlier this month, North Carolina Representative Tricia Cotham changed affiliation to Republican from Democratic, giving the GOP a supermajority in the state, and said she was open to new abortion restrictions. State Republicans introduced a bill in March that defines life as beginning at fertilization and makes it a felony to perform an abortion. Though Cotham hasn’t commented on that specific bill, Republican leaders seem confident they have the votes to pass new anti-abortion legislation. North Carolina is currently another Southern abortion haven. If that bill becomes law, then abortion access will be nearly wiped out for the entire southeastern U.S.

Clarence Thomas Hid Real Estate Deal With Republican Billionaire Megadonor

The Supreme Court justice did not disclose the sales, according to a new report.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Last week, ProPublica revealed that billionaire Republican megadonor Harlan Crow has been secretly showering Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with lavish gifts like island-hopping excursions on massive yachts and on-demand private jet rides—for decades.

Now, the outlet has revealed that Thomas also covertly sold property to the billionaire, including his childhood home where Thomas’s mother continued living as Crow spent tens of thousands in renovations.

In 2014, Crow bought a single-story home and two vacant lots co-owned by Thomas, his mother, and the family of Thomas’s late brother for $133,363. It is not clear whether Crow paid fair market value, but ProPublica noted that Crow had bought a vacant lot and small house on the same block the previous year for a total of $40,000.

Regardless of whether Crow paid extra or not, Thomas did not disclose the sale of any of it. Such a failure appears in clear violation of a federal disclosure law passed after Watergate requiring the disclosure of most real estate sales exceeding $1,000 in value, according to several ethics experts who spoke with ProPublica. This is similar to Thomas’s violation of disclosure laws when it came to the lavish gifts Crow has been giving the Supreme Court justice for decades.

Neighbors told ProPublica Thomas’s mother continues living in the home now owned by Crow. Since his purchase, Crow carried out an array of renovations on the home, including repairing the roof, building a new carport, and adding a new fence and gates.

Crow told ProPublica that he had bought the house in hopes of historical preservation (similar justification, it seems, for the billionaire’s signed copy of Mein Kampf).

“My intention is to one day create a public museum at the Thomas home dedicated to telling the story of our nation’s second black Supreme Court Justice,” Crow said. “I approached the Thomas family about my desire to maintain this historic site so future generations could learn about the inspiring life of one of our greatest Americans.”

ProPublica’s reports last week indicated an appalling financial entanglement between one of the nine most powerful jurists in the country and one of the wealthiest and most politically entrenched individuals in the country. The new report of the undisclosed sale of property shows just how far their entanglements ran.

Florida is Underwater. Where’s Ron DeSantis?

Hint: He is not in Florida.

Chris duMond/Getty Images

Parts of Florida are experiencing the heaviest rainfall in history, and Governor Ron DeSantis is on the scene to help his constituents.

Not really. He’s on a book tour in Ohio.

Fort Lauderdale, in southern Florida, had the rainiest day in its history Wednesday, sparking a flash flood emergency in Broward County, where the city is located. The region got more than a foot of rainfall, but Fort Lauderdale alone got about 26 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. A meteorologist for the National Weather Service described the rainfall as a “1-in-1,000 year event, or greater.”

During a press conference on Thursday, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis was asked if DeSantis had been in touch with him about the flooding.

“Governor DeSantis has not yet called,” Trantalis said. “I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m sure he’s very interested in what’s going on here, and we’re happy to work with his office.”

Trantalis said that state agencies were in contact to help with rescue and repair after the flooding.

DeSantis, however, is in Ohio. He is the keynote speaker at the Butler County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner Thursday evening, where guests who purchased tables will receive a copy of his new book about how Florida policies can serve as a blueprint for the rest of America.

The Florida governor is expected to announce that he’s running for president in 2024. DeSantis has been stepping up his appearances out of state, and he reportedly has called members of his state’s congressional delegation to ask them to stop endorsing Donald Trump.