Suspended State Attorney Andrew Warren says he answers to residents of Hillsborough County, not Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Warren, a rising Democrat who DeSantis suspended last month as the State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit, filed his rebuttal in federal court Friday against DeSantis’ justification for the suspension. Warren’s reply notes he is an elected official, meaning DeSantis must follow the Florida Constitution’s outline to suspend him. The Republican Governor did not do that, he says.
“As I’ve said from the beginning, there is so much more at stake here than my job,” Warren said in a video posted to Twitter on Friday. “This is about making sure that the people choose their elected officials. It’s about making sure that the Governor doesn’t just get to throw out people’s votes because he doesn’t like the outcome of an election.”
Warren contends DeSantis overstepped his authority and violated Warren’s First Amendment right to speak his mind on public policy by suspending him as the State Attorney for the 13th Judicial Circuit.
DeSantis suspended Warren for his statement that he wouldn’t prosecute women who seek abortions or doctors who furnish them in the wake of the Dobbs decision from the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. But Warren, who has been elected and re-elected in Hillsborough County, argues that he answers to his constituents, not the Governor.
“DeSantis cannot justify retaliating against Warren for Warren’s speech because Warren is not his employee and because courts, not the Governor, define the standards for suspension under the Florida Constitution,” Warren’s lawyers wrote in the court filing. “Nor can DeSantis avoid answering in court for his illegal actions by hiding beneath the cloak of sovereign immunity because Florida — not DeSantis — is the sovereign.”
Additionally, Warren’s stance is that DeSantis is conflating Warren’s role as an elected official with that of a public employee.
“(DeSantis) demonstrates that he misunderstands not only the office to which he was elected but also the office to which Warren was twice elected,” Warren’s lawyers wrote.
In the dismissal request, DeSantis and the state argue Warren cannot claim First Amendment protection for his comments, including his refusal to enforce bans on abortion and gender-affirming surgery. The Florida Constitution allows the Governor to suspend public officials for “incompetence” and “neglect of duty.”
“Mr. Warren had no First Amendment right, as a public official, to declare that he would not perform his duties under Florida law,” state Solicitor General Henry Whitaker wrote in the 39-page filing for DeSantis.
The state notes that Warren hasn’t had an opportunity to “neglect” his duties yet, and Warren’s lawyers argue he expressed his views, which doesn’t constitute incompetence.
Warren’s lawyers also argue he asked his office to “exercise discretion,” not “categorically” decide against prosecuting certain crimes.
“Warren advised his prosecutors to do precisely what Florida law requires: to exercise prosecutorial discretion in charging decisions,” Warren’s lawyers wrote. “And because that is what the law requires, neither policy creates, as a matter of law, grounds for either ‘incompetence’ or ‘neglect of duty.’”
Warren’s reply, filed before U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee, arrived one week after the Republican Governor asked the court to dismiss Warren’s request for reinstatement.
Oral arguments are set for Sept. 19 at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee.
September 11, 2022 at 11:18 am
This mongrel never, ever should hold prosecutors office. The fed ct or appeals
will not allow him to serve. The Florida senate will not also. Impeach him.
September 11, 2022 at 1:10 pm
Trump is a dirty rotten monger and confidence man. All who participated in the disgraced MAGA bowel movement will pay a price. All Trump clowns will pay some price.
September 11, 2022 at 2:46 pm
Mental, VP of Trump Derangement Assoc. Corsin is president.
The topic had nothing to do with 45.
This is why you and corsin are spy, trolls, Chinese’s bots.
Total fraud you both are.
September 11, 2022 at 3:27 pm
You said mongrel you idiot..so it was you who brought up Trump.
September 11, 2022 at 3:32 pm
Kiss my ass degenerate.
Go suck on Joey’s schlang.
Scum of the earth.
Warren is a mongrel.
As you are.
September 11, 2022 at 1:13 pm
This attorney is 100% correct. Even right leaning lawyers agree with him and said DuhSantis overstepped his authority. DuhSantis is a 1st class authoritarian whom plays dirty politics. DuhSantis throws his crap at the wall and see’s what sticks instead of following the rule of law, just like Trump does. I’ve never seen so many lawsuits under a governorship. He’s dangerous. Possibly the most dangerous politician in America.
September 11, 2022 at 2:51 pm
No right leaning Judge said that.
You are full of British bull.
The Florida const will prevail.
Fed ct shot not even hear this.
It’s not a freedom speech issue.
Warren prosecuted a minister for holding church services.
He’s a mongrel.
September 11, 2022 at 3:29 pm
Get out of here you disordered meth head. You barely make any GD sense.
September 11, 2022 at 3:37 pm
Same message above to you as idiot Elliot.
David E Bruderly
September 12, 2022 at 8:43 am
September 12, 2022 at 1:37 am
WHY? He has the right to express himself as do you. He was TWICE elected and never neglected his duties. DeSantis is governor fir Pete’s sake thus should follow the rules more than anyone. I know you think it’s ok to not follow the law when it’s your belief, but laws are put in place for a reason!
September 14, 2022 at 1:56 pm
Mongrel? Grow up! What happened to Warren was ILLEGAL. DeSantis will LOOSE. FACT!
September 11, 2022 at 1:58 pm
I’m curious what effect, if any, this will have on the Nov. 8 election for governor. As they say, your friends come and go, but your enemies accumulate
September 12, 2022 at 1:33 am
Highly doubt it’ll have any effect except in making DeSantis’ followers happier which seems to be the case with every authoritarian act he makes! Another example of just saying that law and order matter, but not following such! FL has a procedure for removing elected officials. Too bad no one was able to pluck out the bad eggs at the fed level. There’s a reason ppl are to follow the rules!
September 11, 2022 at 2:11 pm
“. . .but your enemies accumulate.”
Andrew Warren and his big, fat political mouth seem to have accumulated a big one.
I am sure he is thinking much more about 2026 than he is about his present circumstance. The trial bar lobby won’t let him go Hungary–or maybe it will.
September 14, 2022 at 2:01 pm
DeSantis shakes hands with the very police department that are turning a blind eye to my son’s death. DeSantis talks about “doing your job”, but apparently, if you rub shoulders with him that agenda does not apply.
My son died on October 14, 2021. He lived with a roommate, his partner. This guy states that he went to Walmart and came home and found my son hanging from his bedroom doorway, which opens directly into the living room. My son would never have hung himself. The problem is the detective, s. regan, has been, and continues to be negligent in the investigation of my son’s death;
She failed to take the pull up bar my son allegedly hung himself from into evidence. It was still at the house 4 months after my son’s death.
This guy ADMITTED to the detective that he poured Pedialyte down my son’s throat while he was unconscious. She did not arrest him for murder/manslaughter. The paramedic reports states that my son had an air way obstruction and had to put something down his throat due to this obstruction. The obstruction is listed as FLUID. They also used another medical tool into his stomach, to remove the fluid in his stomach. The detective choses to believe this guy’s story that he put the fluid down my son’s throat because he thought my son was dehydrated!
Approx 8 weeks later this guy was arrested for VOP. 3 days later, his then roommate discovered a dead dog in the trunk of my son’s car. This guy admitted that he killed it, he also stated that he poured Pedialyte down the dogs throat….. because he thought the dog was dehydrated! This guy has been raised with dogs, which were raised from birth. His parents have a dog training/breeding business in Germany. There is no way this guy believed the BS story of dehydration on my son or the dog. To date, he is yet to be charged with the dogs death too.
I received a copy of the fire emergency report. BOTH paramedics sate that my son’s body was COLD to the touch. The lying det. Told me my son’s body was warm when they got there LIES!! The report also states that my son had an obstruction in his throat. What was the obstruction, FLUID!!! They also had to put something down his stomach to remove FLUID. My son’s autopsy states that my son had PULMONARY EDEMA, FLUID in the lungs. His lungs were 2 and 3 times larger than they should be! Still that woman refuses to arrest the psycho, that claimed he left for Walmart, gets back 30 minutes later and found my son hanging. BS! My son was dead when he left that is obvious. A body does NOT cool to the touch in 36 minutes. Yet Pasco County Sheriff Department are doing nothing. Remember, this psycho also killed a dog, shoved it into my dead son’s trunk of his car and also poured Pedialyte down the dogs throat.
I believe the reason why Pasco county sheriff Police Dept., Florida have done nothing and ignore the obvious, is because my son was bi-racial and Gay.
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