More legal scholars denounce suspension of Andrew Warren
The plans to remove Andrew Warren started about eight months prior.

andrew warren
The suspension 'usurps the will and power of the electorate,' the scholars write.

Several more legal scholars have come out in support of suspended Hillsborough County State Attorney Andrew Warren.

In an amicus curiae brief, 115 legal scholars who specialize in legal ethics, professional responsibility and criminal procedure denounce Gov. Ron DeSantis’ suspension of Warren, calling it a “disturbing attack on democracy and the rule of law.”

“Governor

 

 

 

“Gov. DeSantis’ suspension of twice-elected State Attorney Warren should be deeply concerning to everyone who believes in democracy and the checks and balances our forebears established,” said Tampa-based Zuckerman Spaeder partner Sara Alpert Lawson, who submitted the brief on the legal scholars’ behalf.

“If the Governor is allowed to suspend or remove an elected official for nothing more than policy disagreements, elections become meaningless.”

The brief by Zuckerman Spaeder LLP was sent to the U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida, which is hearing Warren’s lawsuit against DeSantis. The brief was led by professors Bruce Green, Fordham University School of Law’s director for the Center for Law and Ethics, and Ellen Yaroshefsky, Hofstra University’s School of Law professor of ethics.

An amicus curiae brief is orchestrated by a person or group that is not a party in the case but has a strong interest in it.

Warren filed the lawsuit against DeSantis in mid-August with the goal of being restored to office. The administration’s answer to that suit is due this Friday. Then, oral arguments are set to start Sept. 19, according to an order signed by Judge Robert Hinkle, an appointee of President Bill Clinton.

The scholars’ brief rebukes DeSantis’ reasoning for Warren’s suspension. The Governor suspended Warren for signing a pledge not to prosecute women for seeking abortions beyond the 15 weeks of pregnancy, which recent legislation prohibits, although the law’s constitutionality is under appeal. DeSantis also took issue with Warren’s statements about not prosecuting laws that prohibit gender-affirming care for minors, although no laws against it have yet been passed.

But legal scholars argue in the brief it is not only legitimate for Warren to make policy statements on controversial legal issues, but that it is beneficial and serves the public interest.

In making such statements, according to the legal scholars’ brief, a prosecutor fulfills “their professional obligation to promote law reform while enabling constituents to assess their views on policy relevant to their work.” And, by making their views public, a prosecutor “faces electoral accountability for them.”

“Suspending State Attorney Warren for what can only be characterized as purely partisan reasons … runs counter to professional standards of conduct, usurps the will and power of the electorate, and eviscerates the carefully crafted separation of powers erected in the Florida Constitution,” the brief reads.

Notably, this is the second group of high-profile legal figures to file an amicus curiae brief in support of Warren.

Last week, a group of more than 60 legal figures submitted a brief for the case opposing DeSantis’ decision. The signees included retired Florida Supreme Court justices and a former Solicitor General of the United States.

Warren, who was elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020, has pushed for justice reform throughout his tenure. While his progressive approach has earned praise from some, DeSantis has criticized Warren’s use of power.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected]


11 comments

  • PeterH

    August 31, 2022 at 1:46 pm

    DeSantis fires people for thinking …..

  • Tom

    August 31, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    Don’t matter.
    It’s the constitution stupid
    Governor has the authority.

  • Charlie Crist

    August 31, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Warren should not have signed the pledge but instead just went ahead and did what he intended to do. Never smart to go public when you oppose the fascist regime. After all, mini Hitler won’t be governor forever and we can all get back to freedom.

    • Mihaly Harborum

      September 3, 2022 at 7:46 am

      What is the definition of fascist, please. I love how folks like you call this a fascist regime but leave out the definition. And, you leave out all examples of what a fascist regime is or how this is fascist. That’s because you can’t define the word, as you don’t have a legit historical definition, but a made-up one that defies history. DeSantis is a fascist for firing someone who didn’t do his job, thus evil man, but Biden calling out half the country and wanting censorship is not …. LOL But, if you look at fascists in history they look more like Biden.

      He didn’t do his job and was removed. If you didn’t do your job and was fired, would you declare your company to be fascist. Likely, no, cause nobody will say your argument is legit. No lawyer will defend you using the fascist defense. If you went up to a cop and said you won’t obey a law that you disagree with, the cop might arrest you. Would you say you were a criminal or is the cop a fascist. Well, if you were honest you’d say you were a criminal, and the cop is doing his job and not a fascist. AH< yes, but DeSantis lets someone go because he didn't do his job and openly said he wouldn't obey the law, he's a victim of the evil government. If you should ever break the law, please let me know as I will come into the court room and watch you tell the judge how he or she is a fascist and should be taken off the bench. I dare you to tell that to a judge and then define fascist. I really want to see you ACTUALLY stand behind your ethical view of fascism in the REAL WORLD and not on forums.

  • It's Complicated

    August 31, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    It’s undoubtedly a groundbreaking case, because in my memory, there has never been a case of an elected Constitutional Officer pledging in writing to NOT carry out the duties of that Constitutional Office. No doubt the Governor has the authority to suspend or remove, so the “cause” of removal is going to be the linchpin. Interesting case.

  • Hope

    August 31, 2022 at 2:22 pm

    Bravo for DeSantis for not putting up with going against the Constitution and holding those accountable. Biden’s student loan forgiveness vote buying and FBI overreach are also unconstitutional and Biden will have his day of reckoning. It will probably hit right at election time and all his little unconstitutional mishaps will backfire on him big time. Red tsunami!

    • Elliott O

      August 31, 2022 at 3:40 pm

      Vote buying as in bonuses for first responders and promising “the biggest tax breaks in Florida history?”
      FBI overreach when someone takes boxes of classified information to their house and uses it as a coffee table? You advocate for such recklessness and lawlessness?

  • Impeach Biden

    August 31, 2022 at 2:53 pm

    Send his ass to the liberal enclaves of New York or Kalifornia.

    • Joe Corsin

      August 31, 2022 at 3:34 pm

      ^ Hardcore neo-nazi maniac

  • marconni

    September 1, 2022 at 2:03 pm

    Legal scholars? That is why they teach, because in the real world they simply can’t do!

  • Mihaly Harborum

    September 3, 2022 at 7:39 am

    He was dismissed for upholding the law AND NOT DOING HIS JOB. But, this protest by legal scholars funnily ignores that and says its due to something else, like him speaking out in public. No, that’s not what DeSantis said on TV. Speaking out is not what DeSantis said was the issue. DeSantis clearly said things ignored in this. Its like these legal scholars are 1. arguing a different case, 2. didn’t do their due diligence, and 3. are lying to deliberately hide facts from those who don’t watch the news and who they likely think are stupid. Cause we know, if you’re not a liberal, then you are seen as stupid.

    All they have to do is rebut DeSantis word for word, but instead they made things up, and since they are scholars we are to believe them. Its very cult like authoritarian behavior. Interesting. Very typical way of arguing by the Left – to make stuff up and then argue it, so you have to argue against things you didn’t say, while trying to steer the argument back to reality. While we all know what scholars now means in a world where science is settled by scholars. They are a joke.

    “If the Governor is allowed to suspend or remove an elected official for nothing more than policy disagreements, elections become meaningless.” So, not doing his job and not upholding the law is a policy disagreement. No, not according to any definition anywhere. If I don’t do my job, I can’t tell my boss its a policy disagreement. If I openly say I won’t obey the law, I will be called a criminal. End of story. Same here. Defied the law, didn’t do his job. These scholars are trying to change definitions and change the situation, as they think we’re stupid … while changing definitions is how liberals win arguments now, as they know they have nothing otherwise. Yet, anyone on this page likely reads the news, and is not stupid, and does not want to trust scholars that openly lie.

Comments are closed.


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