HomeAMERICAFlorida prosecutor Andrew Warren sues Gov. Ron DeSantis over suspension

Florida prosecutor Andrew Warren sues Gov. Ron DeSantis over suspension

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A Florida prosecutor who was suspended by Gov. Ron DeSantis is now suing him, claiming that there was no legal justification for the move and that he should be reinstated.

DeSantis suspended Andrew Warren as Hillsborough County State Attorney via executive order earlier this month for “neglect of duty,” after the prosecutor declared he would not prosecute anyone who violates state abortion restrictions, nor would he prosecute those who go violate prohibitions against certain types of Gender-transition treatment for minors. Warren’s lawsuit claims that the suspension was retaliation for opposing the governor’s policies and positions.

“Of course, DeSantis is free to express his views and his disagreements with Warren as often as he likes. Indeed, the Federal Constitution ensures that he is,” the complaint says, adding that “DeSantis went too far.”

DeSantis’s office was not fazed by the lawsuit.

FLORIDA PROSECUTOR SAYS HE IS PLANNING A ‘VIGOROUS DEFENSE’ AFTER GOV. DESANTIS SUSPENDED HIM

“It’s not surprising Warren, who was suspended for refusing to follow the law, would file a legally baseless lawsuit challenging his suspension,” the governor’s communications director Taryn Fenske said in a statement. “We look forward to responding in court.”

Warren had signed a declaration in June stating that “[b]ills that criminalize safe and crucial medical treatments or the mere public existence of trans people do not promote public safety, community trust, or fiscal responsibility,” and as such the signers pledged “to use our settled discretion and limited resources on enforcement of laws that will not erode the safety and well-being of our community.”

GOV. RON DESANTIS SAYS PROSECUTORS WITH ‘MILITANT AGENDAS’ WON’T ‘GET AWAY WITH IT’ IN FLORIDA

The governor’s executive order said that “the Florida legislature has not enacted such criminal laws,” but that “these statements prove that Warren thinks he has the authority to defy the Florida Legislature and nullify in his jurisdiction criminal laws with which he disagrees.”[.]”

DeSantis stated that while a prosecutor is free to exercise discretion on a case-by-case basis, a “blanket refusal” to enforce the law is different.

“[A] state attorney who contends that prosecutorial discretion may be used to disregard entire criminal laws demonstrates incompetence and gross ignorance of a state attorney’s official duty to exercise discretion only on a ‘case-by-case’ and ‘individualized’ basis,” the order said.

Warren’s lawsuit claims that his declarations are protected by the First Amendment and that his position gives him the authority to determine how to allocate his office’s resources.

“The First Amendment protects the right of elected officials to speak out on matters of public controversy, and in fact, it does so because it’s so important that the voters who choose these elected officials know where they stand on these issues,” Warren’s attorney Jean -Jacques Cabou told The Associated Press.

Warren himself said his pledge was a “value statement,” and not an official decision on how he will handle cases.

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