Despite this year’s midterms only being weeks away plenty of Americans are already looking forward to the next presidential election and the idea of a potential Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis ticket has most Republicans thrilled.
It’s no secret that the 45th President is seriously considering running in 2024, he’s all but confirmed the fact. However, another rising star has captured the hearts of many conservatives in recent years that could derail Trump’s plans. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is widely regarded as the favorite to receive the Republican nomination if Trump doesn’t run, and some analysts say he stands a solid chance of beating out Trump for the nomination if the two became competitors.
Some Republicans have begun to wonder if Trump ultimately does run for president who his choice for vice president would be, but one fact is for certain it won’t be Mike Pence. Conservatives have pointed to DeSantis as being a potential VP pick, a move that could avoid a divisive primary that could cost the GOP the White House.
Some experts have cautioned against a Trump-DeSantis ticket over concerns that the 12th Amendment might stand in the way since it seems to suggest that two candidates from the same state cannot run on the presidential ticket. Trump and DeSantis are each currently Florida residents.
The language of the amendment reads: “[t]he Electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves.”
However, based on historic precedent, there’s nothing standing in Trump’s way to selecting DeSantis as his running mate. During the 2000 election concerns arose when Governor George W. Bush of Texas selected former congressman Dick Cheney as his running mate because he maintained residency in Texas during his business career.
Cheney moved to Wyoming four days before Bush selected him as his running mate, and Bush/Cheney went on to victory. Liberals attempted a legal challenge on the residency issue, but courts and the legal community soundly rejected it. Cheney’s move to Wyoming put an end to the issue. The courts reasoned that Cheney had fulfilled the residency requirements by doing so.
The Bush/Cheney ticket is arguably a reverse version of a Trump/DeSantis ticket: Bush and DeSantis were both sitting governors, and thus ineligible to move. Cheney and Trump are businessmen with deep ties to other states. Some would say that Cheney had a major advantage that Trump does not. Cheney’s previous state of residence, Wyoming, loved him. Trump’s previous state, New York, is vigorously pursuing legal charges against him.
But there is no reason Trump would need to move to New York. He could move to Tennessee, Nebraska, Wyoming, or any other state that would react favorably to his residency. It does not matter that Trump has no previous affiliation with those states.
It’s worth noting that U.S. case law has opposed extraneous residency requirements for people running for Congress. This flexibility has allowed people like Alan Keyes and Hillary Clinton to move to new states to run for office. True, this case law has concerned states creating extra laws, as opposed to interpreting the 12th Amendment; but given that the judiciary has used the Constitution to strike down these laws, it is unlikely that the same judiciary would hold for extensive residency requirements to prevent someone from getting elected president or vice president.
Does this mean Trump will ultimately pick DeSantis as his running mate? Not by any means but it does mean he has the opportunity to build a ticket the conservative base is already energized to vote for. But first, Trump has to reveal if he plans to run for president…and now we wait.