Florida Attorney General suspended by Ron DeSantis for violating the new 15-week abortion law says a federal judge’s decision to dismiss his reinstatement appeal means payback is coming for the state’s Republican governor.
Andrew Warren, a Democrat, was fired as Hillsborough County state’s attorney on Aug. 4 after saying he would not enforce the abortion ban or prosecute those who offer gender-bending treatments to young people.
DeSantis cited Warren’s alleged “woke agenda” as the reason for his decision.
At a hearing in Tallahassee on Monday, Judge Robert Hinkle denied DeSantis’ motions to dismiss Warren’s lawsuitand the other by Warren, who is demanding immediate reinstatement and instead wants to settle the differences in court in the coming weeks.
“Now the governor has to answer this in a court of law, where the facts matter and where you have to tell the truth,” Warren told the Guardian.
“This is the victory of truth. A federal judge ruled that the governor must go to court to explain the reasons for my suspension, to show that it was not politically motivated, to show that it did not violate my free speech rights, to show that it did not “infringe on the right of voters to have public lawyer of choice”.
The closely watched case is expected to clarify DeSantis’ authority to purge elected officials who disagree with him. In recent weeks, neither has the governor removed four school board members in Broward County who challenged him over the Covid-19 mask mandates.
“The governor is the trust of the people Florida exercise his constitutional authority and can remove elected officials in Florida who refuse to follow the law,” DeSantis’ office said in a statement after Monday’s hearing.
Critics, however, accused the governor of selectively applying the principle. The Orlando Sentinel noted that DeSantis did not take any action against so-called “constitutional” sheriffs who say they won’t enforce certain gun laws.
But it worked in 2019, suspension of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israela Democrat, for “neglect of duty.”
Warren said he believes the trial, which could begin as soon as next month, will cross any political line.
“It has always been a struggle for democracy, for the rule of law and for elections,” he said.
“This is our struggle for the truth. And now people will know the truth, because the governor is being forced to explain himself.
“After all, he may be called to testify in court. The court was pretty clear that it wanted to hear an explanation from the governor regarding the suspension to make sure the reasons I was suspended were consistent with Florida law and federal law.”
Warren said his recovery wasn’t the only goal of his lawsuit.
“I would like to return to my post, but not only my job is at stake,” he said.
“No matter what party you belong to or who you vote for, yours always counts. No elected official has the right to override anyone’s vote. And the local governor tried to reject the votes of hundreds of thousands of Floridians and cancel the election.
“If he gets away with it, what will be left of our democracy? What is the point of elections?”
Warren ran as a progressive candidate when he unseated longtime Republican Mark Ober as Hillsborough County State’s Attorney in 2016 and was re-elected four years later with 53% of the vote.
He immediately set about implementing policies that upset conservatives This is reported by the Tampa Bay Timesincluding undertaking to implement programs for the rehabilitation of convicts and the prevention of recidivism.
According to Tampa’s Fox13, Susan Lopez, who DeSantis appointed to replace Warren, has already changed some of its policiesincluding reinstating the controversial “bike stop” law enforcement measure that critics say unfairly targets minorities.